Samsung strongly believes in the transformative power of technology and innovation to affect societal change. This makes the achievement of a third successive Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) level one contribution status, a significant milestone. It is aligned with Samsung’s belief that companies must remain firmly committed to empowering people with skills and opportunities that help build the nation.
“As Samsung, we’re committed to building on our long-ranging transformational vision. This is already reflected internally as our people are representative of the country’s demographics, race and gender. Ultimately, we are completely focused on creating real empowerment through ownership and control of South Africa’s economy, and remain aligned with the government’s transformation imperatives. We will continue to build on our vision to empower South Africans by harnessing the power of technology to effect lasting change,” said Hlubi Shivanda, director: business innovation group and corporate affairs at Samsung South Africa.
In 2019, Samsung launched a R280m Equity Equivalent Investment Programme, aimed at stimulating job creation. It is estimated that it will contribute nearly R1bn to the South African economy at large. This investment is supplemented by initiatives focused on the upskilling of the South African youth with initiatives like, Samsung Engineering Academy, technology-based facilities in schools and universities, as well as student bursary programmes. Samsung has become an integral partner in the creation and support of black-owned businesses in the e-waste sector – that can manage waste electronic and electrical equipment. Additionally, Samsung appointed two Black women-owned businesses to become part of the Black industrialist programme through the EEIP programme. These e-waste businesses, which were given both funding and business support, are now part of a sector that can make a real difference in society. Rising to the challenge of meeting B-BBEE goals in 2020
Importantly, in a year when many South Africans experienced devastating job losses, the Samsung learnership and skills development initiatives provided much needed jobs for unemployed youth and people living with disabilities. The company also finds great purpose in contributing meaningfully to sustainable transformation across the Samsung value chain. This is demonstrated by Samsung’s enduring commitment to the objectives of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, in its ongoing objective to redress the inequalities of the past.
The year 2020 brought unexpected challenges, which forced many businesses to cut spending. Samsung, however, did not change their targets and commitment to transformation. In 2020, the business improved their employment equity score by attracting and retaining employees who reflect the demographics of South Africa and was named top employer for the sixth consecutive year. In this time, Samsung provided much needed relief for SMMEs by not recalling unsecured loans provided to emerging businesses. Small businesses in the supply chain were still paid on shorter payment terms to help sustain their businesses. This is evidenced by the growth in the spending towards SMMEs – Black-owned and Black women-owned.
Samsung’s transformation agenda continued unabated. Its enterprise development programme helped the beneficiaries of the programme adapt their businesses to cope with the pandemic and invest in the communities in which they operate. This was achieved by supporting Innovation Hubs in disadvantaged communities, and by providing students in the various skills development initiatives with Galaxy tablets to enable them to continue learning remotely.
Ultimately, Samsung’s objectives remain firm – to pursue opportunities for people to become actively engaged in the broader economy, and in doing so, uplift marginalised communities throughout the country.