We want this report to reflect our values of entrepreneurship, family values and passion. Please let us know if we have achieved this – and if there is any further information you require. You will find our contact details here and are invited to complete a survey here.

We take a digital reporting approach. For those stakeholders who prefer a more conventional report, we offer an abridged report in print and PDF format. You can download a full report in PDF format by using the “create your own report” function on this website.

We transitioned to digital reporting to increase access, usability and transparency. We use our digital platform to provide stakeholders with a broad understanding of the group’s past performance in the external environment, demonstrated through a wide range of activities, interactions and relationships. This should enable you to gauge the prospects and future trajectory of SPAR’s value creation abilities.

The scope and boundary of this report

This report covers the activities of The SPAR Group Ltd (SPAR or the group) from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019. Previous reports are available in the downloads section.

Financial and non-financial information in this report was provided for the southern African, Irish and Swiss operations, with as much comparability as possible. As BWG Group and SPAR Switzerland are further integrated into the group, the extent and depth of non-financial reporting will improve.

It is important to distinguish between the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, SPAR – primarily a warehousing and distribution business – and the operations of our independent retailers, who own stores under SPAR brands and are governed by the SPAR and Build it Guilds. Both guilds are non-profit companies. Download an explanation of the structure and functioning of the SPAR Guilds. Download background and detail about SPAR International and the voluntary trading model.

The reporting frameworks and guidelines used

We determined report content by considering previous reports, as well as the following frameworks and regulations for financial and non-financial reporting:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • The Companies Act, 71 of 2008, as amended (Companies Act)
  • Johannesburg Stock Exchange Listings Requirements
  • King Report on Corporate Governance™ for South Africa, 2016 (King IV)1
  • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice of the Department of Trade and Industry
  • The International Integrated Reporting Council’s <IR> Framework
  • The CDP
1 Copyright and trademarks are owned by the Institute of Directors in South Africa NPC and all of its rights are reserved.

How we determine materiality

Since first establishing material matters for reporting purposes in 2014, our determination process evolved and matured in appreciating the importance of relationships for SPAR. Our business and sustainability depend on relationships. Therefore, we report in detail about five material relationships: with suppliers, employees, retailers, consumers and communities.

We completed a comprehensive materiality process between 2014 and 2016, outlined below. The full process was not repeated in subsequent years. However, according to the board, the material relationships are relevant and are reported consistently with disclosures in 2016.

SPAR hosted an externally facilitated workshop including representation from internal specialist disciplines, management and executives. Considering industry risks and opportunities, as well as SPAR’s strategy, key activities and material relationships, the team selected the GRI Aspects (now material topics) with the most substantive economic, environmental and social impact.

Measurements were identified to track progress and performance according to the material relationships. The impact and management approach for each were considered.

To ensure a robust view on what is material, we launched a short, focused engagement process to test the validity of our chosen topics with a range of the group’s material stakeholders. This confirmed that our internal perceptions aligned with external expectations.

The SPAR Supermarket strategy development entailed extensive background research and stakeholder engagement that reconfirmed the materiality of our relationships with the five stakeholder groups.

How we approach the six capitals

We use the <IR> Framework as a reporting guideline and agree with using the six capitals to ensure holistic, balanced reporting that considers more than just the creation of financial capital. We recognise that we use, transform, deplete and renew these capitals in our business activities.

Although we elected not to structure or report according to the definition of the six capitals explicitly, references to and detailed explanations of the resources and relationships that we affect – along with their interconnectedness and dependencies – are included in the fact sheet available in the section on our strategy and business model.

King IV™ references

We explain how we apply the principles of King IV™ in three ways:

  • Our governance report addresses the principles in detail and contains disclosures as required by King IV™.
  • Our online King IV™ register contains references/links to the detail disclosures on the website and in the abridged report, and a brief statement on how we apply each principle. This provides our readers with a quick overview in one document.
  • Throughout this digital report we use icons to alert readers to examples of how we implement practices or shape arrangements according to specific principles in that section. Each icon shows the number and definition of the relevant principle for ease of use.

Forward looking statements

Certain statements in this integrated report may constitute “forward looking statements”. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the group to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements.

SPAR undertakes no obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these statements that reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report, or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated events.


This includes the group’s 2019 broad-based black economic empowerment verification, independently evaluated by mPowerRatings. In addition, scope 1 and 2 data submitted to the CDP was externally verified for the 2018/2019 financial year.

We continue evolving our integrated assurance framework.

Board responsibility statement

The SPAR board applied its collective mind to the report content and is satisfied that it provides a fair account of the business’s performance, risks, opportunities and prospects. The Audit Committee reviewed the integrity of this report and recommended it to the board for approval.

The board confirms that the report was prepared according to the <IR> Framework and addresses the related reporting elements and principles. The board acknowledges its responsibility for the information contained in this report and authorised it for release to stakeholders.