How we ensure effective control

SPAR operates according to a voluntary trading model, which creates unique challenges for effective control as retailers have the freedom to operate independently under the SPAR brand.

Our primary area of control extends to operations at the distribution centres, including delivery, with more limited control in the retail environment. Our retail operations team, in co-operation with the guilds, provides the necessary structures to facilitate the most appropriate risk mitigation, and financial and reputational controls for retail.

In terms of our distribution centres, subsidiaries and central office functions, we rely on a range of internal and external assurance mechanisms in combination with formal policies and frameworks. External mechanisms include, for example, our auditors, sponsors and verification agencies, while internal audit and management reviews provide internal control.

Our enterprise risk management process approach is set out below and show the steps linking business processes, risks, controls and auditing to strategic imperatives:

In terms of IT systems, we are in the process of rolling out SAP in South Africa, whereas Ireland and Switzerland have their own systems. The SAP conversion, up to now, has included general ledger, assets, non-trade debtors and creditors, etc. Logistics and warehouse operations will follow in the next phase.

Effective control in the IT environment is particularly challenging as the number of cybercrime incidents continues to increase. We completed an external audit on our system controls this year and are satisfied that the group is well protected against data security breaches.

Read more about effective control in terms of food safety in our relationship with suppliers.

Read more about the Audit Committee role here.