The three most enduring empowerment companies listed on the JSE — Brimstone Investment Corp,* Grand Parade Investments (GPI) and African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) — have much in common. All three were launched in Cape Town in the 1990s, and have outlasted more illustrious Gauteng-based empowerment conglomerates like New Africa Investments, Real Africa Holdings and Mvelaphanda. All three have sprawling community-based shareholders, which explains the determination to maintain a sustainable dividend policy, with cash flows generated from a diversified investment portfolio. The founding directors remain key and large shareholders in the respective companies — and to an extent still inform investment perceptions around the companies. But the key commonality between these empowerment companies is that all three attract a huge discount on the intrinsic value of their respective portfolios. Of course, it is not unusual for investment companies — including larger counters like R...

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