The Association for Communication and Advertising of South Africa (ACA SA) recently held a masterclass to explore transformation in the industry. Michael Bratt spoke to Odette van der Haar, CEO of the organisation, to find out more.
The gathering was held in response to the MAC Sector Code under section 9(1) of the BBBEE Act coming into law, requiring that companies in the sector meet the targets stipulated in it by 2018. At the event the final Code was presented to ACA members and basic training was provided on the six elements contained in it (Ownership, Management Control, Skills Development, Enterprise and Supplier Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Responsible Social Marketing Communications).
“We wanted to provide our members with a better understanding on the Codes and how to achieve meaningful transformation in their respective companies,” Van der Haar explains.“Essentially what we are doing is revisiting the basics. So we’re not taking for granted that people know the Charter and what’s in the Charter.”
Because the Charter has taken so long to be gazetted, she adds, agency people who were around when it was first being planned are no longer around, so the new people need to become familiar with it. “We want to make sure that we cover all the bases so that we get everybody on the same page anyway,” Van der Haar says.
The masterclass was well attended. Aside from ACA members, stakeholders from government and SANAS were also present. “We had an opportunity to really take each element of the Sector Code individually and unpack it and spend enough time understanding the rationale for it, not just for the MAC Charter but also in line with the BBBEE Codes and government’s strategic agenda,” says Van der Haar.
“Coming out of the meeting, the ACA will raise areas where more clarification is required on technical calculations, measurement criteria etc with the MAC SA Sector Committee. The same masterclass will also run in Cape Town and Durban in the coming months and then it will be revisited whether they need to re-run the masterclass again in any of these locations.”
The final MAC Sector Code applies to advertising, public relations and communications companies in all media including digital platforms.
It has certain requirements:
- The Code contains compliance targets along with higher proposed targets to be achieved by 31 March 2018 that are binding.
- Voting rights and economic interest targets are much higher than those contained in the general Codes and other sector codes. This includes the target for exercisable voting rights and economic interest in the hands of black people at 40%, rising to 45% by 31 March 2018. This compared to 25% for the general Codes. The target for exercisable voting rights and economic interest in the hands of black women is 20%, rising to 30% by 31 March 2018. This compared to 10% under the general Codes.
- Much more points are available under the MAC sector code for management control and skills development (27 points and 30 points, respectively), compared with the points available for those elements under the general Codes (being 15 points and 20 points, respectively).
- Under skills development, the points awarded for the number of black people absorbed at the end of learnership and internship programmes is 10 points, compared with 5 points under the general Codes.
- The compliance target for socio-economic development is 1% of NPAT, increasing to 2.5% of NPAT by 2018 (compared to 1% of NPAT under the general Codes).
- The target for responsible marketing and communications is 1% of NPAT, increasing to 2.5% of NPAT by 2018.
“The ACA is very pleased that the MAC SA Sector Code has finally been written into law and that the members are embracing the new Codes,” says Van der Haar. “Transformation is a process, not a destination and that process has begun.”
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