Technology group Samsung has achieved its third successive Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Level 1 contribution status.
The company strongly believes in the transformative power of technology and innovation to effect societal change and says it is fully committed to empowering people with skills and opportunities.
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 says.
The year 2020 brought unexpected challenges, which forced many businesses to cut spending. Samsung, however, did not change its targets and commitment to transformation.
Last year, the business improved its 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 to small, medium-sized and microenterprises (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 – particularly black-owned and black-women-owned SMMEs.
The company explains in a statement that its enterprise development programme has helped beneficiaries adapt their businesses to cope with the pandemic and invest in the communities in which they operate.
The company supports innovation hubs in disadvantaged communities and, by providing students in the various skills development initiatives with Galaxy tablets, enables students to continue learning remotely.
In 2019, Samsung launched a R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme, aimed at stimulating job creation. The company estimates that the programme will contribute nearly R1-bllion to the South African economy at large.
The investment is supplemented by initiatives focused on the upskilling of the South African youth with initiatives such as Samsung’s Engineering Academy, technology-based facilities in schools and universities, as well as student bursary programmes.
Ultimately, Samsung’s objectives remains firm – to pursue opportunities for people to become actively engaged in the broader economy and, in doing so, uplift marginalised communities throughout the country.