In this section


Non-financial review

Social review

Media24 takes its responsibility towards the communities in which it operates seriously. We promote the well-being of society, our customers and our employees by contributing to initiatives that improve the quality of life in these communities.

How we do this:


  • We respect human rights.
  • We support previously disadvantaged businesses by actively seeking such suppliers.
  • We contribute to the communities in which we live and work. We support them through community involvement, and in some communities in which we operate, we contribute to educational programmes.
  • We conduct business fairly, ethically and with integrity. Our code of ethics and business conduct defines our culture.

Our people

  • We invest in the continuous development of our people.
  • We reward employees fairly.
  • We encourage our employees to contribute to sustainability and innovation initiatives in the group.
  • We respect the rights of our employees and their diversity.
  • We encourage employees to report, through secure channels, any areas where the group might be failing in its business conduct and values.
  • We endeavour to comply with local employment laws.

Extract from Media24 sustainable development policy


Transformation is a strategic imperative for Media24. Various initiatives are employed to develop appropriate skills and responsible procurement practices. Media24 has made solid progress with its transformation aims in recent years. These are tracked against a scorecard under the Department of Trade and Industry’s code of good practice for BEE. During the review period, Media24 achieved a level 3 rating with 137,5% recognition for BEE spend, and scored full points for the ownership, socio-economic development and enterprise development elements.

Direct empowerment

Welkom Yizani

In 2006 Media24 launched the largest BBBEE share offer in the print media industry, Welkom Yizani. This enabled eligible black people and groups to indirectly acquire equity in Media24 Holdings. The Welkom Yizani scheme’s retention period came to an end on 9 December 2013 and shareholders are now able to trade their shares to eligible black people through an online trading platform.

Employee diversity
Media24’s full-time staff composition as at
31 March 2014:

Black economic empowerment partners

Media24 and other South African Naspers group companies have combined their buying power in South Africa in a centralised procurement company called CommerceZone, which implemented a BEE procurement policy. Suppliers’ BEE performance is evaluated against specific criteria and must be improved annually. Media24 achieved 17,41 out of 20 points for preferential procurement of goods and services from all suppliers.


Employment equity

Media24 values diversity in its workforce. The breakdown of the group’s consolidated annual employment equity is shown alongside:

Employee benefits

Retirement benefits

The group provides retirement benefits for full-time employees, primarily as monthly premiums to a number of defined contribution pension and provident funds. The assets of these funds are generally held in separate trustee-administered funds.



Medical aid benefits

Medical aid membership is compulsory for permanent employees in the group, with the employer contributing to the monthly premium as part of each employee’s total cost to company.

Post-retirement medical aid benefit

Some group companies provide post-retirement healthcare benefits. This entitlement applies to employees appointed before a certain date, remaining in service until retirement age and completing a minimum service period.

Long-service benefits

Media24 rewards long service by people employed before a certain date with a bonus at 10, 15, 25 and 40 year anniversaries. In addition, a retirement gratuity is paid to qualifying employees who retire with at least 15 years’ service.

Termination benefits

Termination benefits are payable when a company decides to terminate an individual’s employment before the normal retirement date or an employee accepts voluntary redundancy in exchange for those benefits. In all instances, terminations are only concluded against a detailed formal plan (with specified minimum contents) after appropriate consultation and once realistic alternatives have been exhausted.

Equity compensation benefits

To retain the skills on which our sustainability depends, the group grants share options/share appreciation rights to employees under a number of equity compensation plans.

Employee relations

The group complies with labour legislation in its operating areas. In South Africa, Media24’s statutory reports are submitted to the relevant government departments.

Appropriate and representative consultative forums protect the interests of employees across the group and have become a valuable input to decision-making.

Training and development

Media24 invested some R38m in the past financial year in developing employees at various levels. Despite tough trading conditions, we have continued to increase our year-on-year investment in training per employee.

Skills development

Across the group, skills development remains important to maintain our competitive advantage.

Media24 invested R15m in developing current and future journalists through its Media24 Academy, delivering 21 honours graduates (bursary holders) and 11 trainees into traineeships at our newspapers, magazines and digital titles at the end of 2012. The group’s bursary programme continued and, at the beginning of 2013, 21 bursaries were offered to promising honours students. In March 2013 the Graduates in Media programme offered four weeks of intensive practical training by in-house experts to 20 young graduates who wish to enter the media industry in careers other than journalism. The top 11 graduates have been offered one-year traineeships at Media24 of whom seven, upon completion, were placed in permanent positions.

Beneficiaries of the academy initiatives included:

  • 21 journalism honours graduates were awarded bursaries in 2012 and began internships in 2013 (61% black and 70% women)
  • 21 journalism honours students were awarded bursaries in 2013 (52% black and 81% women)
  • 20 graduates in the Graduates in Media programme (71% black and 88% women), and
  • Media24 also awarded 197 bursaries to employees for part-time studies in 2013 (71% black and 58% women).

The Paarl Media Academy of Print focuses on developing the printing skills, as well as leadership and management skills needed to run a successful print business. The printing qualifications offered by the academy are not only locally accredited, but also internationally by the City & Guilds of London Institute. This academy has implemented a sophisticated electronic learning management system for employees to complete training and be assessed electronically. A core part of the training offered by the academy is apprenticeships in printing trades.


Media24 is dedicated to empowering communities through our various socio-economic development initiatives. In the period under review more than R35m was invested in several projects, with a specific focus on literacy and media training. The group also supports communities through projects directly related to needs within the community. Other focus areas include sustainability, water and energy, arts and culture and enterprise development.







Current socio-economic development initiatives include:

Giving you Space to Grow Between 2012 and 2013 Media24 awarded R24m in free advertising space in our magazines, newspapers and online titles to 12 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 12 small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa through the Giving you Space to Grow project. The second phase was rolled out in 2013. The exposure provided these SMMEs with the opportunity to showcase their brand and grow their business on a national level.
Rachel’s Angels Rachel’s Angels is a mentorship programme that pairs Grade 11 and 12 learners with university mentors, with the aim of improving their academic performance and social skills. Media24 has supported the programme since its inception in 2007. Grade 12 participants achieved a 100% pass rate in the 2013 National Senior Certificate Examination.
AIP and MDDA Media24 maintains strong relationships with the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). In our most recent initiative, we awarded 14 bursaries to black independent publishers to attend the Essentials of Managing a Community Newspaper course at the Sol Plaatje Institute at Rhodes University.
Education in the classroom Media24 is committed to literacy and media training in schools. In 2013 our news division provided 239 000 free newspapers to primary and high schools across the country, which benefited over 1 000 schools and more than half a million learners. Beeld’s Koerante in die Onderwys programme focuses on providing educational resources to teachers and learners at schools in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North-West province, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. Son is the official partner of the Woorde Open Wêrelde project in association with Stellenbosch University. Son also sponsored nine bursaries to deserving students from previously disadvantaged communities, valued at R380 000 per year.

The Spelling Bee competition, now in its fourth year, is open to scholars from disadvantaged rural schools and is aimed at improving their proficiency in English as a second language. In 2013, 200 scholars benefited from the prize money in excess of R700 000. Editorial and advertising space to the value of R500 000 was granted for the competition.
Paarl Media Bursary Trust In 2008 the R10m Paarl Media Bursary Fund was launched in the Western Cape for students looking to study at Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology or Elsenburg Agricultural College. Ten scholarships were awarded for tertiary studies by the bursary fund for 2013 to students for degrees in commerce, social work, pharmacology, law, public relations and engineering.

Health and safety

We perform regular risk assessments of health and safety conditions at our facilities.
We aim to have an injury-free workplace.
We train people at our higher-risk facilities in matters of health and safety pertinent to that facility or operation.
We monitor management’s mitigating actions through regular operational, internal and external auditing and reporting processes.
A healthy workforce contributes to business success. Several of our businesses provide medical aid and wellness programmes for their staff.
We aim to comply with the relevant laws.

Extract from Media24 sustainable development policy

The workplace

Implementing a healthy, safe workplace at both administrative and production facilities is a priority. Health and safety committees ensure compliance with applicable regulations, in line with local legislation where required. Only trained employees sit on these committees. Regular occupational health and safety risk control audits are conducted by operational entities and improvements are made as required. Significant matters are reported to, and monitored by, Media24’s audit and risk committees.

Media24’s distribution and printing operations make extensive use of contractors and organisers. Most of these workers are from previously disadvantaged communities and receive training in performing their jobs safely and effectively. The nature of the print business, which owns and manages distribution networks and printing facilities, makes it the area in the Media24 group where inherent risk for injuries on duty is highest. The Media24 safety, health and environment committee (a committee of the board) monitors significant related issues in the workplace.


Media24 monitors its buildings in which it operates and conducts annual health, safety and environmental compliance audits, as well as building scans. Injuries on duty are stringently monitored, and the company aims to have no injuries or deaths on duty. Paarl Media has stringent internal monitoring processes in place.


Several wellness programmes are operated by the group in a preventative approach to employee health. These range from HIV/Aids testing to programmes to assist employees to lose weight, improve fitness and stop smoking. Regular eye and hearing tests are performed on drivers and staff exposed to noise. Professional and independent psychological and social support is provided for staff in businesses.

Media24 offers wellness days, in partnership with a leading health insurance company, at many of its offices across South Africa. Health services offered include hypertension and blood sugar testing (diabetes), cholesterol testing, HIV/Aids counselling and testing, flu vaccinations and a number of risk control programmes. Media24 also has wellness centres at certain printing facilities.


Media24 is acutely aware of the HIV/Aids pandemic in Africa, and its social and economic implications. Voluntary testing, comprehensive health management and medical treatment programmes are available on the medical aid scheme.


The group evaluates the direct impact of its activities on the environment as part of its risk management process.

The most significant impact remains the use of electricity (scope 2 emissions). Print operations are primarily based in South Africa where the main source of electricity is coal. These operations measure their gross carbon footprint in scope 1 and 2 emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), the accepted international standard for accounting and reporting on emissions. The GHG Protocol was created in 2001 when the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development identified a need for consistency in how organisations accounted for and reported on emissions.

Electricity accounts for 100% of scope 2 emissions (94% of total emissions) in our operations. A continuous supply of quality electricity is vital to the continuity of our operations. To mitigate this risk, we installed generators at key premises several years ago to ensure a continuous supply of electricity during power outages.

The gross carbon footprint for the group for the 2012/13 financial year was understated in the 2012/13 integrated annual report. The calculation process has since been revised. The group’s gross carbon footprint (scope 1 and scope 2) was 132 752 tonnes of CO2e as at 31 March 2014. The group measured the direct emissions of 18 locations across South Africa and will continue to focus on refining the process of collecting complete sets of data in the coming year. Printing operations contribute 82% to the total carbon emissions of the Media24 group.

Our impact on the environment and our response

Media24’s operations are diverse, ranging from printing plants to ecommerce platforms. Each type of business has a unique impact on the environment and requires different solutions to limit these impacts.

We perform risk assessments to identify operations where our direct impact on the environment is most significant. We use advanced technologies to reduce our impact on the environment. Our printing operations apply leading emission-reduction technology to minimise and responsibly dispose of waste. We measure and report on our carbon footprint. Where possible, we use environmentally responsible energy sources, invest in improving energy efficiency and design energy-efficient facilities.
Our most direct impact on the environment is from print media (82% of total carbon emissions).

The internet businesses inherently have a lower impact on the environment.
A number of initiatives have been implemented to reduce our carbon footprint and support the sustainability campaign.

Energy-efficient initiatives include:

installing movement-activated lights
refurbishing air conditioners to reduce electricity consumption
consolidating our customer service call centres, and
automatic hibernation of computers when users are away from their workstations.

Waste management initiatives include:

recycling office waste more effectively, and
recycling toluene at the Paarl Media gravure printing presses.
Throughout Paarl Media equipment is in place to collect and recycle dust from the printing process.

Media24 recycles all unused paper and unsold products.
As disclosed above. Paarl Media was the first African printing organisation to receive the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain-of-custody certification.

This is an independent international verification that printed products can be traced back from their point of origin to responsible, well-managed forestry, controlled and recycled sources.

Printing facilities

Paarl Media has paper suppliers in South Africa and Europe and it continuously investigates options to limit its environmental impact while ensuring quality paper products are used in our publications.

Paarl Media offers clients a range of environmentally sustainable paper, leading the South African print industry in recognising the impact of print production processes on natural resources and implementing practices to minimise these effects. As part of its environmental policy, the company is seeking measures to eliminate emissions. Paarl Media focuses strongly on reduction and recycling projects. The group recycles all paper not sold as part of the printed product and gives it to a leading paper manufacturer. Equipment installed in the Paarl Media Cape plant ensures that dust particles from the printing process are collected and recycled.

Media24 produces mainly newspapers, magazines and books. It recycles all unsold newspapers and magazines. Informative articles in magazines and newspapers are used to educate readers to effectively lower their impact on the environment. Although Media24 recycles all unused paper and unsold products, it is in the group’s commercial interest to use paper efficiently, limit paper destined to be recycled and limit unsold products.


The environmental impact of our internet businesses is limited mainly to the use of electricity.


In the past year there were no environmental accidents, nor were any environmental fines imposed by government. The group will continue to refine its processes for managing its impact on the environment.



Beeld won the Frewin prize, Volksblad the McCall prize and City Press the Joel Mervis prize for design excellence at the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards. City Press was the winner of SA Story of the Year for its Marikana coverage at this prestigious event.
Polokwane Observer was named the best independent local newspaper and TygerBurger and Paarl Post were recognised for their front pages at the Sanlam/MDDA Local Media Awards.


SARIE won seven prizes at the annual Pica industry awards, including for Magazine of the Year and Editor of the Year (Michélle van Breda). Men’s Health was named International General Interest Magazine of the Year. Media24 Magazines scooped a total of 22 awards.


NB Publishers scooped 33 prestigious literary prizes.
Via Afrika Publishers was named Sefika Educational Publisher of the Year for the third consecutive year.