Integrated Report 2021

Nolulamo Gwagwa

Leadership and governance

The group's resilience is reflected in our exceptional set of results.


Chair's review

The year under review was one of resilience for the Barloworld Group and South Africans as a whole as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to dominate the economy, both locally and globally.

As expected, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not been short-lived and uncertainty regarding its future impact and the length of its impact will no doubt be with us for some time to come. My heart goes out to all those who have lost those dear to them to Covid-19. On behalf of the board, we honour the lives and memories of our colleagues, their family members and friends who lost their lives to Covid-19.

By year end over 40% of our employees had been vaccinated against the virus. Hopefully, this percentage will continue to grow and increase the protection our employees have against the virus. Protecting our employees and our customers during the pandemic remains a key focus for Barloworld. To keep our employees and customers safe we maintained the adjustments we had made to our operating model during 2020, which included remote or hybrid work and digital enablement.

The group’s resilience is reflected in our exceptional set of results. On behalf of the board, I would like to recognise the excellent work of the Barloworld management team in implementing the board-approved strategy, protecting the sustainability of our business and creating enterprise value.


Barloworld takes ESG seriously and climate change in particular. In this regard, we have appointed an ESG executive to drive group sustainability and governance, with a particular focus on addressing the impact of climate change on our business and the potential impact of our business on climate change.

I was pleased to see that our continuing operations have done well with regard to reducing their carbon emissions, improving their energy efficiency and reducing their water withdrawals. While the acquisition of Ingrain has introduced an energy and water-intensive business to the group, Ingrain is focused on using these resources as efficiently as possible and in line with the rest of our operation's identified efficiency performance metrics that continue to be refined in order to facilitate efficiency improvements and reduce our environmental footprint.

Our role in society

I am proud of the role Barloworld plays in society and, in particular, the role it has played in assisting those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by directing 50% of its CSI spend to health and welfare initiatives, which include addressing food security. Our Siyakhula ESD programme is playing a meaningful role in the development of black-owned and black women-owned businesses; and our social impact enabler, Mbewu, maximises social value creation by providing financial and non-financial support to social enterprises that have demonstrated scalability.

Khula Sizwe Property Holdings, a broad-based black economic empowerment scheme established in 2019, in which Barloworld employees have a 32% shareholding and black public shareholders have a 30% shareholding, is an excellent example of building wealth through economic transformation.

The group is also doing well with its diversity and inclusion efforts in the business. Not only are 60% of our board members women, our Group Finance Director and the CEOs of two of our business units are also women and African; and 71% of our executive committee members are Africans, 43% of whom are women.


Governance has always been one of Barloworld’s strengths and I have no doubt it will continue to be so. The changes we made to the board subcommittees during FY2021 streamlined the committees, with the risk and sustainability committee being disbanded and the audit committee becoming the audit and risk committee, and the social, ethics and transformation committee being responsible for sustainability.

My thanks to the board and management for the warm welcome. I join the board at an exciting time for Barloworld as it moves from fixing to optimising and strengthening its position in its chosen verticals of Industrial Equipment and Services and Consumer Industries.

I look forward to gaining an in-depth understanding of the business in the next few months and being able to lead the board as it steers and sets the strategic direction of the group and governs risk with the aim of supporting Barloworld’s achievement of its strategic objectives.

I would like to assure our stakeholders that, in line with the commitment to good corporate governance that has long been part of Barloworld’s approach to doing business, we will continue to do our best to provide you with fair, responsible and transparent communication.

Nolulamo Gwagwa
3 December 2021


As I retire as Chair of the Barloworld board after serving as member of the board for over nine years, I would like to welcome my successor, Nolulamo Gwagwa, who joins the board on 1 October 2021.

I would also like to thank my fellow board members for their contribution to our deliberations. It is rewarding to be completing my time on the board with Barloworld in a year when the decisions we made previously have proved value-accretive to our shareholders and have positioned the group well to remain resilient and agile in a constantly changing operating nvironment.

30 September 2021