Organisational structure




“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”

John Scully

AEEI’s business model, investment approach and philosophy resulted in it acquiring control of the majority of its operational investments as well as holding a significant minority stake in its associates and minority equity in strategic investments. This enables AEEI to add value through its extensive expertise and networks, while promoting a cascading entrepreneurial culture from management down to our employees. Through our assets and investments, we drive the businesses to become efficient on a sustainable basis, which generates revenue, dividends and cash flow to support the Group as a whole.

The Group’s businesses remain on track to deliver on its growth plans and goals towards achieving its Vision 2020 Vision strategic plan for the 2020 financial year.

Through AEEI’s achievement of economic growth and its social contract, it remains one of the few companies to have consistently topped the rankings in its sectors overall over the past few years. As a result of AEEI being recognised for its leadership qualities in the transformation of society and its innovative business model in South Africa, the Company continues to be invited to participate in a number of global forums and multilateral organisations.

One of AEEI’s key strategic objectives is to create sustainable value for all its stakeholders and to integrate sustainable development into its strategy, governance, management and reporting, with the objective of reducing the negative impact on the environment.

AEEI’s financial strategy is to grow through acquisitions and to leverage the existing portfolio by maximising the net asset base and improving cash generation, thereby growing income sustainably and managing its costs.

AEEI’s strategic approach to risk is to regularly assess whether the risk process is effective in identifying and evaluating risks and to determine whether the business operations have managed the risks in line with the Group’s strategy while considering mitigation action and the overall sustainability of the business.

The Board of directors delegated the action plans to the Group’s executive management for implementation with clear deliverables. The Group’s executives provide feedback at the quarterly Board meetings on progress made.

The following high-level KPIs are ongoing in terms of our Vision 2020 Vision:

  • Double revenue
  • Increase operating profit substantially
  • Increase operational cash flow significantly
  • Increase NAV significantly
  • Substantially increase or double total assets
  • Regularly pay dividends to shareholders
  • Create medium to long-term shareholder value
  • Develop positive director and stakeholder involvement in the strategy
  • Building the AEEI brand
  • Create employment and opportunities for employee growth
  • Create a Group that leads in both profits and sustainable business practices

Listed below are the Group’s achievements towards its Vision 2020 Vision:

  • Group restated revenue grew to R701m from R577m
  • Group restated profit before tax grew to R6.01bn from R631m
  • Cash generated from operations increased from R80m to R131m
  • Group NAV increased from R2bn to R5.6bn
  • Group assets grew to R7.4bn from R2.8bn
  • Listed the fishing and brands division in March 2017
  • Acquired a 50.31% stake in a fishing company
  • Listed the technology division in December 2017
  • A significant reduction in debt to equity
  • Solid cash management
  • Payment of dividends and interim dividend
  • Continued to deliver sustainable growth and clarified future investment opportunities
  • Continued to build a resilient organisation for the future
  • Improved return on investment by developing opportunities that can deliver medium to long-term earnings growth
  • Provided a safe and healthy workplace and strived to reduce the environmental footprint of products and operations and supported local communities
  • Engaged with and further developed a diverse supplier base and enterprise development clients
  • Strengthened management systems that govern responsible operations
  • Pursued partnerships with key stakeholders and formed joint venture initiatives to promote localisation
  • Identified opportunities for local manufacture and the promotion of skills transfer
  • Fostered equality within our work environment irrespective of gender, race, creed and other forms of diversity
  • Developed personal plans for employees and promoted performance management
  • Continued to build and retain critical skills and leadership capabilities
  • Further promoted skills development and learnership programmes
  • Continued to drive meaningful improvement in ensuring we have a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Continued to build leadership capacity among women
  • Continued to engage with our employees at all levels, which provided us with the necessary feedback and input to improve their skills and training needs
  • Ensured full compliance with the changing regulatory requirements

AEEI continues to nurture its foundation businesses and sustain the momentum of its Vision 2020 Vision. The Group also continues to support the development of a positive public attitude through increased innovation, the stimulation of green enterprises, upskilling new and existing employees and managers, investing in research and development and developing research centres relevant to our industry and intellectual property. The achievement of excellence in the execution of our investments also sustained and improved our competitive advantage.



To our Group, shared value means understanding stakeholder expectations and societal needs, and communicating through stakeholder engagements.

We are driven by our values


To sustain profitability by partnering with communities and government in a social contract to achieve economic growth and giving more South Africans access to this growing prosperity.


To ensure that the Group delivers long-term value to all its stakeholders; increases shareholder wealth, economic transformation and the development and upliftment of social communities; and builds long-term stakeholder relationships.


The Group continuously assesses innovative ways to sustain its existing businesses by adapting to changing environments and through our acquisition and new business development approaches. With our risk management approach and the impact of changing markets, competitors and the economic environment, management is constantly aware of how the Group can improve sustainability through constant change.


When making decisions on how to manage and grow our businesses, AEEI takes into account the six capitals, including the resources required. These are critical to AEEI’s ability to create value. AEEI uses the input of each capital for the effective production and delivery of products and services, thereby creating value for our stakeholders.

Outcomes for our stakeholders

The Board and executive management → evaluated risks → assessed the impact on our material matters → and evaluated the impact on our strategic priorities.


AEEI’s strategy is to create sustainable value for all shareholders and stakeholders and to ensure that the Company remains attractive to investors by optimising shareholder returns. AEEI’s sustainable value creation goes beyond short-term profitability and takes into account the broader economic, social and environmental factors.

Our approach to addressing these matters is to prioritise those most important to achieving sustainable businesses in the medium to long-term.

We have identified strategic enablers in order for us to execute our business model and achieve sustainable value creation. (King IV™ – Principle 4)


Stakeholders can only derive full value from a business that is founded on integrity, honesty, accountability and respect. With the significant corporate governance developments during the year and taking into account emerging global trends, AEEI’s improved focus makes it easier to manage our business transparently and with good governance.

The Board strives to ensure that AEEI is governed effectively, with integrity and in accordance with sound corporate governance practices. Our diverse Board enables an environment in which varied views can be exchanged as a result of the mix of skills, experience and backgrounds of all of the directors interacting as a unitary working group.

AEEI can only be a sustainable business if we continue to deliver on our promise to promote good corporate governance, which is an integral part of our business model which is built on delivering good governance outcomes in terms of an ethical culture, effective control, good performance and legitimacy. Our sound governance platform is embedded in our DNA and corporate culture. (King IV™ – Principle 6)


The Group continued to instil a culture of excellence and opportunity for all employees and to make them proud ambassadors for AEEI. (King IV™ – Principle 14)

Our employees are critical to our success and sustainability. Growing talented employees into new roles remain a core objective. Learnership programmes give impetus to employee development within AEEI.

Together with financial capital, our employees are our single most important resource. It is important for AEEI to attract and retain the right calibre of people, to keep them motivated in a safe, supportive working environment and to remunerate them accordingly. In doing so, AEEI continued with training and development during the year and ensured that employee development plans are in place for the retention of employees.


In order to remain sustainable as a business, we continually contribute towards social and economic development and developing partnerships that enhance our long-term viability in a stable and growing economy.

In order to create an enabling environment and develop and enhance markets for our products, we were proactive and responsive to our stakeholders’ interests and ensured that we implemented best practices when it came to responsible investing. Our aim is to invest in businesses that have a sustainable approach to doing business. (King IV™ – Principle 3)


AEEI’s carbon emissions are low and we have a very low direct impact on the environment, but we are affected by the environment in which we operate and how climate change affects our business. We commit our businesses to a journey of responsible environmental stewardship. We acknowledge that a stable economy and a sustainable business require a sustainable environment.

AEEI and our various business units are not considered to make a particularly heavy demand on the natural environment. However, businesses in the Group are committed to being industry leaders and adding value to their services by implementing sustainable business practices that minimise the impact that their operations have on the environment. Environmental commitments are an integral part of their day-to-day activities. Our fishing and brands division works closely with the relevant authorities to safeguard various fish species and pays careful attention to the environmental impact of their operations. (King IV™ – Principle 3)


Sustainable value creation depends on continuous and successful engagement with stakeholders.

AEEI appreciates the role of its stakeholders and remains committed to nurturing impactful relationships that deliver mutual benefits and encourage transparent, objective and relevant communication. The Group recognises that its businesses are one of the stakeholders in the socio-economic and environmental system. It is essential for the Group to compete successfully in an increasingly complex and ever-changing business environment and to systematically bring about the change needed for sustainable development. We have built and continue to maintain trust and respect with our various stakeholders, thus ensuring a positive impact on our reputation.

AEEI places great value on our high standards of ethics, communication and transparency of information in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (No. 2 of 2000) (Promotion of Access to Information Act), Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (No. 4 of 2013), and other regulations and directives relating to the dissemination of information.

We have identified stakeholder groups with whom we engage in a structured manner. Refer to key stakeholders in Building relationships with our stakeholders for full details.

We addressed essential risks and opportunities and responded timeously and appropriately to issues raised in our interactions with our various stakeholders. (King IV™ – Principle 16)


A measure of the value created by the Group is the amount of value added by its diverse activities to the cost of raw materials, products and services purchased. Refer to our value-added statement for full details.



AEEI’s material matters are those challenges and opportunities that could substantively affect the Group’s ability to create sustainable value over the short, medium and long-term for our stakeholders.

We identified our material matters in terms of relevance from the risk assessment process. This process includes uncertain events with a potential negative effect on the Group, i.e. opportunities not materialising. It also takes into account the legitimate and reasonable needs, interests and expectations of all material stakeholders in the execution of the Board’s governance role and responsibilities and in the best interests of the Group.

AEEI focused its reporting on sustainable development and those directly affecting the Group’s ability to create value, as well as the Group’s impacts and responses to the expectations of its stakeholders.



  • Strategic focus areas and KPIs
  • Group policies, values, Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics
  • Board discussions and engagement with senior executives
  • Issues raised through stakeholder engagements
  • Risk management process


  • Regulatory requirements
  • Economic, environmental, global and socio-political developments
  • Reporting frameworks
  • GRI reporting
  • Responsible investments


These material matters were approved by the AEEI Board and take into account the issues raised, their relevance, our strategic component, the stakeholders, our governance structure and where further information can be found in the integrated report.

The following material matters were identified: