Telecommunications group Vodacom Group has achieved a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) contributor score of Level 1 as its local subsidiaries accelerate a concerted transformation strategy.
As a result of these efforts, the group exceeded its financial year 2019/20 targets against all the five components of the BBBEE scorecard.
Subsidiaries Vodacom South Africa and Nexio retained the previous year’s rating of Level 1, while X-Link improved from Level 2 to Level 1.
“These results are a full demonstration of our commitment to supporting government’s national imperative goals involving the support of black small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), youth employment, skills development and uplifting local communities still trapped in abject poverty,” said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
Vodacom’s procurement spend with Level 4-and-above BEE status companies reached R35.9-billion, with R13-billion of this spent with 51%-blacked-owned suppliers and R15-billion spent procuring services from 30%-black-women-owned suppliers.
The company also procured services valued at R3.3-billion from black-owned qualifying small enterprises, R2.3-billion from black suppliers from designated groups and R1.3-billion from black-owned exempt microenterprises.
“A focus on enterprise creation and development is key to the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. Vodacom spent R243-million on supplier development and R407-million on SMME development across seven provinces,” Joosub continued, noting that R981-million was paid to suppliers in three days or less from time of invoice.
“This is important as local research shows that the majority of SMMEs fail because of the failure by local companies to honour invoice payments for service rendered.”
Meanwhile, Vodacom invested a total of R363-million in skills development, including internal and external bursaries, training of staff members, graduate and learnership programmes, and training of youth across the country through the Youth Academy, besides others.
In addition, Vodacom spent R87.5-million across its mobile education programme, e-School platform, ICT Computer Centres and on training teachers in digital literacy.
“These positive results show that at Vodacom, we are serious about the transformation agenda and the development of South Africa. We view BBBEE as an important policy intervention to deal with South Africa’s inequality,” concluded Joosub.