Both globally and locally, there is clear consensus that investment in a country’s technological advancement is intrinsically linked to economic growth. In recognition of this philosophy, Samsung South Africa is spearheading large-scale ICT-driven initiatives aimed at empowering previously disadvantaged South Africans and boosting the economy. 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, affecting 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 (B-BBEE). This is aimed at strengthening black economic empowerment through enterprise development and ICT capacity development to tackle the triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Creating entrepreneurs to stimulate GDP
As part of its EEIP plan and in collaboration with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC), Samsung embarked on an initiative to provide opportunities for black industrialists in the recycling sector. Through this initiative, it 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 Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment’s (DFFE) reduction of waste-to-landfills objective.
Another programme is the development of accredited service centres to provide greater access to electronic repairs for communities residing in townships and peri-urban areas. This 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.
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. 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’ experience. These skilled interns can be part of driving local economic growth.
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