It is 1996 and six people are meeting on the 23rd floor of a central Cape Town office block to discuss the establishment of an empowerment Group representing the diversity of marginalised communities in the Western Cape, which will invest in the tourism, leisure and gaming industry. One of the group, Hassen Adams, calls their attention to the vista of the city beneath, punctuated by the Grand Parade and iconic facade of the Victorian-era City Hall lying beneath Table Mountain.

They are reminded that the Grand Parade is the soul of the Mother City, the place where all the communities of Cape Town have always met to trade, debate, protest, celebrate, parade and entertain. For centuries kings and peddlars, princes and evangelists, presidents and prime ministers have come here to meet the people. It is the first place where Nelson Mandela addressed his fellow South Africans as a free man in February 1990, after being imprisoned for 27 years for his beliefs.

The Grand Parade is symbolic of the heritage of Cape Town, South Africa's most cosmopolitan city, its culture shaped by the rich tapestry of its people and their history. In a second, the name of the new Company is decided upon, because GPI is not to be a vehicle for window-dressing or elitism. The ownership will be initiated by the people of the Mother City and its surrounding rural areas. And adjacent to the Grand Parade stands the famous clock and bell tower of the City Hall in Bath sandstone, its bells named after famous battles of World War I as a permanent memorial to the sacrifice and service of Capetonians of all races. This iconic structure will be the emblem of GPI. This moment was the start of what has been the most remarkable broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) journey that South Africa has yet witnessed.

In the little more than 10 years hence, GPI has grown from that humble beginning into a powerhouse in the South African tourism, leisure and gaming industry, with assets worth billions of Rands, a landmark listing on the JSE Limited (JSE), and the rest of Africa in its sights. GPI's beneficiaries are mainly thousands of ordinary shareholders from the marginalised communities in Cape Town's historically disadvantaged areas, who a few months later bought into the GPI dream and committed their hard-earned savings – money that meant GPI could bring capital, and not just promises, to the negotiating table when it made its first foray into the business world. These are the two things that have set GPI apart from all other BBBEE initiatives: its truly broad-based shareholding, and the fact that it existed more than just on paper when it was launched. These shareholders were painstakingly recruited, one by one, and at small community meetings by the original seven consortia that made up GPI. Each one was persuaded that this was a risk worth taking; that one day they would reap handsome benefits for daring to dream way beyond their garden gates. It did not take long. Within a few years they were already receiving dividends.

GPI's first triumph remains the centrepiece in the Company crown – its successful application as part of the SunWest International Pty Limited (SunWest) consortium for the Cape Metropole casino licence, which was awarded in 1999. SunWest built the GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World (Grandwest) in Goodwood, which has since established itself as a top-performing casino complex in South Africa. It is appropriate to GPI's heritage that GrandWest was constructed in what was one of Cape Town's more economically depressed areas, instead of one of the city's more fashionable business districts. SunWest also wholly-owns the luxury Table Bay Hotel in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which opened in 1997, and is a shareholder in the very successful Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which was conceived as part of the original SunWest casino licence bid and firmly links the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with Cape Town's rejuvenated Foreshore area.

GPI's footprint now extends far beyond SunWest, in which it now holds an interest many times the size of its initial stake. Within the gaming sector it now owns equity in Golden Valley and the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom North of Durban. Furthermore it now not only owns, but operates Limited Payout Machine (LPM) routes in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga and in addition thereto proudly owns and operates BURGER KING ® in South Africa, the second biggest Fast Food Hamburger Restaurant brand in the world.

So much has already been achieved by GPI, yet much more lies ahead for it and its truly empowered Western Cape and national investors. Little more than a decade after that first, historic meeting in central Cape Town, the GPI journey has only just begun.....

Group Revenue +13.6%
Slots Gross Gaming Revenue +17.1%
Adjusted HEPS +5.9%
Increase of 20% on ordinary dividend to 15c per share
Invested in and opened the first BURGER KING® store in South Africa
Concluded the agreement to restructure certain common assets with Sun International
Increased revenue by 33.5%
Increased LPM GGR by 25.1%
Net profit after tax increased by 1 209%
Increased adjusted HEPS by 30.6%
Generated net cash of R335.9 million
Paid a special dividend of 60 cents per share during January 2012 from the proceeds of the Sun International deal
Declared a final ordinary dividend of 12.5 cents per share and a second special dividend of 7.5 cents per share, totalling 20 cents per share subsequent to year-end
Reached an agreement to restructure certain common interests with Sun International
Increased the dividend by 33% to 10 cents per share.
Increased adjusted HEPS by 15%
Acquired a LPM route operator licence in Gauteng
Successfully completed the integration of the Slots business and the restructure of the acquired Slots group
Acquired the remaining effective 7.5% interest in Kingdomslots to effect 100% control
Watershed year from investor to operator.
Invested R192 million and became a leading slots operator.
Invested R28 million to increase our direct stake in SunWest to over 30%.
Invested R4 million to increase our stake in Golden Valley Casino to 44.4% and achieved joint control.
Grew our indirect stake in Sibaya Casino through Akhona GPI’s increased stake in Dolcoast, which increased from 18.5% to 23%.
Remained dividend-active by matching last year’s 7,5 cents declaration.
Increased our net asset base by 8% and the decline in adjusted headline earnings per share was contained to 7%.
GPI exercised further options during the financial year and increased its stake in SunWest from 26.41% to 29.24%.

GPI now indirectly owns an effective share in Sibaya Casino of 6.3%.

In December 2008, GPI provided R7 million to Akhona GPI so that it could exercise its pre-emptive rights through a first round offer. GPI provided an additional R13 million to Akhona GPI so that it could exercise the balance of its pre-emptive rights through a second round offer. As a consequence, GPI’s economic stake increased to 75% and it’s voting rights to 49.99% in Akhona GPI.

In November, GPI announced a R170 million deal to give it a controlling stake in Thuo Gaming, operator of limited payout machines, by taking full ownership of Carentan Investments, a subsidiary of the Australian-based Tatts Group, which owned 90% of Thuo Gaming.
GPI listed on the main board of the JSE Securities Exchange in the 'General Financial' sector. After listing, thousands of the initial shareholders progressed to a new corporate listed environment with an opportunity to participate in the continued growth and development of GPI.

GPI acquired a 30.6% stake in RAH, giving GPI a share in Carnival City Casino and Entertainment World, Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom and the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World and an increased share of SunWest, National Manco and Western Cape Manco.

GPI acquired a 50% economic and minority voting stake in Akhona GPI which owned a 20% stake in Thuo Gaming KZN and a 6% stake in Dolcoast.
GPI Increased its stake in SunWest to 26.41%.
The GPI SPV Trust and the GPI BBBEE Trust established to enhance and sustain the company’s empowerment status and raise capital to repay debt.

The SPV Trust owns 8.17% directly in GPI and this, together with the units held in the BBBEE Trust and the units locked in by black shareholders by agreement amounts to an effective lock in of 28% until 2012.
GPI increased its economic stake in SunWest from 8.53% to 19.12%.
The public response to the preferential offer was overwhelming and saw previously economically marginalised communities across the Western Cape taking up shares in GPI.

GPI acquired an initial 8,53% stake in SunWest.
SunWest emerged as the triumphant bidding vehicle and was awarded the exclusive license for the GrandWest casino in Goodwood, Cape Town.
GPI converted to a public company.
Grand Parade Investments Limited was incorporated to conduct business as an investment holding company with interests in the leisure, hotel and gaming sectors – specifically for the express purpose of partnering with SISA, as its primary BEE partner in the Western Cape, in the award of the exclusive casino licence for the Western Cape Metropole.