A long-term, multi-tiered and progressive approach to transformation was behind manufacturing and printing group Novus’s dramatic improvement in its broad-based BEE (BBBEE) score from a modest four to an envy-inducing one in just 12 months, according to its CEO, Neil Birch.

Not everybody is thrilled with the apparent progress. Indeed, so vexed is printing and publishing group Caxton that it took the unprecedented step of asking the high court to interdict Novus from using its sparkling new level 1 BBBEE certificate. Caxton chair Paul Jenkins, who has trawled through Novus’s shareholder register and found no sign of the sort of significant BEE transaction that would support the enhanced rating, says that without such a transaction, "it’s not clear how Novus could possibly have achieved the percentage black ownership reflected on the certificate"...

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