Both globally and locally, there is clear consensus that investment in a country’s technological advancement is intrinsically linked to economic growth. Samsung South Africa has long-recognised this philosophy, which is why it is spearheading large-scale ICT-driven initiatives aimed at empowering previously disadvantaged South Africans and boosting the economy. The fact is, this convergence of technology and economic forces is increasingly dictating everything from growth rates and incomes to inflation, as technology is now integrated everywhere in society, from how we work, live, and play.
In 2019 Samsung South Africa launched its R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP), under the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Programme. This is aimed at strengthening black economic empowerment through enterprise development, ICT capacity development to tackle the triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Creating entrepreneurs to stimulate the GDP
As part of its far-reaching EEIP plan, Samsung in collaboration with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) embarked on an initiative to provide opportunities for Black Industrialists (BI’s) in the Recycling sector. Through this initiative Samsung has become an integral partner in the creation and support of black-owned businesses that can manage and impact Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE). Furthermore, this initiative supports the reduction of “waste to landfills” objective of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) and Samsung’s investment in e-waste is visionary in terms of the recently published Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations (EPR).
In addition to e-waste investment, Samsung has committed to invest and the support of black-owned and women-owned businesses through its Enterprise Development (ED) programme. Investment in ICT entrepreneurs aims to support sustainable businesses that can help address the country’s 4IR challenges.
Another programme is the development of accredited services centres to provide greater access to electronic repairs of communities residing in townships and peri-urban areas. Samsung’s Service Centre programme is bringing skilled black engineers to under-serviced areas, with sufficient retail footprint, to tackle the repair of mobile devices and consumer electronics that are subjected to rapid technological advancement and changing consumer needs. Samsung provides the selected entrepreneurs with grant funding to support their operations, including specialist business development support and access to Samsung’s service repair network.
The investment in E-Waste, ICT and Service Centres provide the enterprises with much-needed funding to capitalise their businesses for plant, equipment and operational expenditure. The programmes are formulated to make a measurable difference by supporting high potential entrepreneurs to grow their businesses sustainably
Driving future success through youth development
South Africa now more than ever, needs to equip the youth to seize the opportunities that lie in the ICT sector. This is why Samsung recognises that education and beneficiation are the cornerstones of the country’s future, and are requirements for it to be a major player in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Samsung App factory learnership programme is a good example of how this can be achieved. The programme is geared to bridge the gap between tertiary learning and market requirements for employment. The support and guidance of learners under the supervision of a mentor in the form of a qualified systems engineer, prepares learners for employment as software developers, as it is commonly known that the industry prioritises candidates with a couple of years of experience. These skilled interns can be part of driving local economic growth.
“Ultimately through our partnership with DTIC on their industrialisation drive and our ICT-education-based investments, Samsung can play a vital role in creating meaningful employment and strengthening South Africa’s economy, all through the power of innovative technologies and a focused long-term vision”,
says Hlubi Shivanda. Director: Business Innovation Group & Corporate Affairs, Samsung South Africa.