JOHANNESBURG, March 29 Shareholders in South
Africa's Aveng approved the sale of a 51 percent stake
in the Grinaker-LTA business to Kutana Construction, the company
said on Wednesday, bringing in a partner owned by black women.
The deal helps Aveng, a 125-year-old company, to align the
business with the government's economic agenda and policies
aimed at transforming the South African construction industry
and giving black people a more prominent ownership role.
In October, the construction firm announced plans to dispose
of a 51 percent beneficial interest and a 45 percent economic
interest to Kutana construction, a black women-owned entity, for
756 million rand ($57 million) to help the business become
profitable again and introduce a black partner.
The 51 percent interest represents the legal voting position
of the shares held by Kutana, while the 45 percent economic
interest represents the benefit attributable to the firm.
Aveng said in a statement majority of shareholders approved
the disposal at its general meeting.
Shares in Aveng were up 1.29 percent to 7.04 rand at 1046
With rising unemployment, the ruling African National
Congress is under increasing pressure to address gaping
inequality that persists 23 years after the end of apartheid.
Black South Africans make up 80 percent of the 54 million
population, yet most of the economy in terms of ownership of
land and companies remains in the hands of white people, who
account for around 8 percent of the population.
Aveng was one of seven construction companies which agreed
in October to contribute a total of 1.5 billion rand over the
next 12 years towards a fund to develop skills in the sector and
give black workers a bigger role.
($1 = 13.0988 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Keith Weir)