AECOM South Africa (Pty) Ltd. has confirmed its status as one of the top integrated infrastructure delivery firms in South Africa with its successful Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) accreditation.
The certificate was issued on 30 November 2017 by Moore Stephens BW BEE Verification, and represents a three-year transformation journey for AECOM. With the promulgation of the Revised Codes of Good Practice (RCoGP), AECOM developed and implemented a new B-BBEE strategy.
Although equity ownership and employment equity remain a priority to AECOM, four main focus areas, namely skills development, enterprise supplier development, procurement, and socio-economic development, were identified as requiring improvement.
An outcome-based programme was implemented to improve AECOM’s transformation objectives. The programme included, for example, implementing a learnership programme, aimed at people with disabilities; establishing the AECOM Educational Trust, which owns 10% of the Group in South Africa; and a supplier development programme, whereby beneficiaries partake in a structured skills transfer programme, and receive loans to develop and expand their businesses.
LEAP Science and Math is one of AECOM’s main socio-economic development (SED) beneficiaries. A visit was made to its Langa Campus to determine its needs, and to meet the staff and students. Furthermore, numerous bursaries were awarded to young black female students via the AECOM Educational Trust.
AECOM has approached supplier development with great enthusiasm, particularly in the manner in which it has adopted an all-encompassing approach when conceptualising its Project Engage for the Department of Public Works. This project aims to create a live, interactive, and robust learning environment wherein representatives from its Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) participate in learning objectives outlined by this in-house, exclusively AECOM programme.
“Project Engage has been well-received by the target audience. As a pilot programme, it has enjoyed much support,” AECOM Africa CE Carlos Pone affirms. The benefits of Project Engage are wide-reaching, ranging from professional mentoring with registered and seasoned professionals, both from the consultant’s and contractor’s perspective, to tailor-made learning programmes to meet the needs of AECOM’s SED partners.
Meanwhile, in terms of the benefit to AECOM’s clients, procuring from a Level 1 accredited business enhances their own B-BBEE scores. “Companies that procure from AECOM will ultimately spend less, as they are able to claim more in terms of their own preferential procurement scorecard. This rating is validation that AECOM continuously implements strategies to give effect to the changing regulatory landscape in South Africa, and we are looking at our clients to support our efforts,” Pone notes.
It will also encourage AECOM’s own service providers to improve their B-BBEE ratings. As per AECOM’s third-party procurement policy, preference will be given to EMEs, QSEs, black-owned and black woman-owned businesses, where possible. “This should encourage businesses to transform in a sustainable manner,” he adds.
Pone concludes that transformation is critical for South Africa’s transition towards a non-racial, democratic and prosperous society. “AECOM believes that economic growth and development is essential to realising this vision. It will unlock investment, create jobs, and empower citizens. Our Level 1 B-BBEE status is indicative of our support of the need for social change and to bolster the local economy.”
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