GPI was incorporated in 1997 to conduct business as an investment holding company specifically for the purpose of partnering with SunWest International (Pty) Limited (SunWest), as the primary BEE partner in SunWest’s bid for the exclusive casino licence for the Western Cape Metropole. The consortium was successful in its bid and the licence was awarded in 1999 following on which the GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Goodwood, Cape Town, was established as one of the most successful casinos nationally.
What sets GPI apart from most of its peers is the fact that its shareholders originate from the erstwhile historically disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town and the fact that GPI was able to commit capital to the bidding consortium – due to its shareholders being prepared to commit their hard-earned savings to achieve the GPI dream. In return for their belief in GPI, shareholders have been richly rewarded over the years with an average return of 26%.
GPI’s history provides a concrete example of the role that values play in achieving a sustainable business and by consistently applying its values of Excellence, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Respect, GPI continues to honour the trust that its initial shareholders placed in it.
The Board acknowledges the obligation to provide stakeholders with relevant, accurate and reliable information. It accordingly follows a combined assurance approach to verify and safeguard the integrity of its IAS. This is achieved by incorporating internal (management and internal audit) and external (BBBEE scorecard verification, external audit) assurance. In striving to achieve Excellence, the Company will continue to reassess this approach to determine whether other forms of assurance or levels of external assurance will add further value.
The Board is mindful of the impact that stakeholder perceptions have on the Company’s reputation and endeavours to ensure that all communications with stakeholders are clear, timely and unambiguous. When making decisions, the Board considers the effect of such decisions on the legitimate interests and expectations of its stakeholders ensuring that it acts responsibly and in a manner that will stand up to external scrutiny.
Shareholders and investors
Shareholders are treated equally and have access to all shareholder communications via the Company website at www.grandparade.co.za, the JSE News Service (SENS) and on request to the Company Secretary. Similarly recent and historic financial and investor information is available on the Company’s website as referred to above.
Engagement with the investor community takes place twice a year at the interim and final results presentations where the CEO and the Financial Director are available to take and respond to questions. Investors are also at liberty to contact the CEO or Financial Director directly at any time during the year.
The Board recognises that in order to be successful, the Company needs exceptional talent with a depth of experience in the right fields. GPI believes that the sustainability and growth of the Group is dependent on its people and its BEST TEAM strategy is therefore aimed at positioning the Group as an employer of choice. Its policies are aimed at attracting, retaining and rewarding quality employees. Regular communications take place between employer and employee in the Group.
Investee companies and subsidiaries
GPI’s ultimate performance is dependent on that of its investee companies and as such, a great deal of importance is attached to maintaining constructive relationships with these companies so as to add value to the investments and to ensure the smooth flow of communication with them. This is achieved by regular interaction between management of GPI and investee companies as well as by GPI Directors and senior management acting as Non-executive Directors on the boards of subsidiaries, investee companies and companies in which GPI is co-invested.
GPI and the GPI Group operates in a highly regulated environment which encompasses not only Company and corporate regulation but also the extensive system of gambling regulation by both national and provincial gambling boards.
A great deal of emphasis is placed on conducting open communication with regulators on an ad hoc basis whenever there is a need to engage with them.
Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment
As already mentioned above, GPI is proud of its heritage of being an authentic black-owned Company since inception and the Board holds management accountable for the preservation of this heritage within the context of broad-based black economic empowerment. It is also a widely held view in the Company that black economic empowerment must go beyond the obligatory requirements of an impassive scorecard and that good corporate citizenship carries with it the responsibility to demonstrate a committed approach to improving life for all South Africans affected by historic discrimination.
In light of the restructuring of GPI as an investment holding company, GPI will actively focus on defining policy, identifying high-impact innovative programmes and setting targets for each of its investments to achieve and will regularly monitor and report on their performance.
Enterprise Development – Incubator
As has been mentioned elsewhere in the Integrated Annual Report, the Board has undertaken to support the incubation of emerging businesses through the provision of business development support and start-up capital. In conjunction with this, talent-recruitment and development programmes to provide future managers that meet the BEST TEAM strategy approach will also be implemented.
Plans for the incubator programme are at an advanced stage and the incubator is set to be established in November 2015, operating from space in GPI’s building at 33 on Heerengracht, Cape Town.