Phuthuma Nathi sitting on R207m unclaimed dividends
MultiChoice empowerment vehicle Phuthuma Nathi is holding onto R207 million worth of unclaimed dividends, as the scheme struggles to locate 22 000 shareholders.
Phuthuma Nathi says, to date, it has tried calling these shareholders using the contact details provided by them, with no success, and has since engaged tracing agents to help.
The empowerment scheme is regarded as one of SA’s most successful broad-based black economic empowerment share schemes, with more than 80 000 shareholders. Phuthuma Nathi companies (PN1 and PN2) own 25% of MultiChoice SA.
Shareholders of the scheme include domestic helpers, gardeners, professionals, stokvels and small businesses.
The total dividends paid to Phuthuma Nathi shareholders as of last year is R13.4 billion. Last year alone, shareholders pocketed R1.5 billion in dividends.
An ordinary dividend of R22.22 per share before dividend tax (R17.78 after tax) was paid to shareholders in the first week of September.
Since the start of the scheme in 2006, Phuthuma Nathi says, it has been paying dividends (cash payouts) every year, but this year, it says, 22 000 shareholders have not claimed their dividends, which are worth R207 million in total.
“We want to find the 22 000 shareholders, or their family members if the shareholder is deceased. We feel the dividends rightfully belong to these shareholders and would like to find them to pay them their money,” says Phuthuma Nathi.
“Although some of the shareholders have been found, there is still a large number who have not claimed their dividends. Phuthuma Nathi understands the current economic environment is tough and wants to find these shareholders to give them what is rightfully theirs.”