Vodacom BEE scheme has millions in unclaimed dividends


Thousands of investors in Vodacom Group’s black economic empowerment scheme, YeboYethu, have failed to claim more than R73-million in dividends owing to them.

The unclaimed dividends belong to more than 12 000 YeboYethu shareholders, the telecommunications operator said on Wednesday.

“The administrators of the scheme have been unable to pay over the dividends owing to shareholders not updating their contact details on a regular basis,” Vodacom said.

Established in 2008, Vodacom issued 14.4 million YeboYethu ordinary shares at R25 each and, as a result of the public offer, approximately 102 000 qualifying black investors bought a stake in Vodacom South Africa.

Through a new empowerment deal in June 2018, YeboYethu now holds a 6.23% stake in Vodacom Group worth R13.4-billion.

“It worries us that we are sitting with millions of rand in unclaimed dividends at a time like this,” said Zarina Bassa, chairman of YeboYethu Limited.

Relief

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of economic devastation and left many with no income and it remains our view that unclaimed dividends could be used by many to provide relief during these tough financial times.

“The unclaimed dividends date back to 2014, with the largest amounts relating to the special dividend that was declared in 2018, and during this period the YeboYethu scheme has used various ways to trace shareholders. YeboYethu’s attempts to trace the 12 000 shareholders through a third party have been unsuccessful.

Vodacom urged YeboYethu investors to reach out to the company if they believe they have dividend payments owing to them.  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media



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