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Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT vital to reverse the market trend of lower gender representation in this sector. With which SA institutions are you partnering with in ICT training? Samsung partnered with previously-disadvantaged universities (University of the Western Cape and Tshimologong Digital Precinct, Wits) and SETA-accredited training providers such as Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre and Ocule IT in KZN. What is the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy? The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy, which was established in 2011, now exists through partnership agreements with various colleges. These Academies, in collaboration with colleges, equip unemployed matriculants and college students from low-income areas with the latest global technological skills in the areas of electronics and refrigeration to assist them to compete effectively in the job market. Samsung’s vision is to fast-track youth into the electronics job market, therefore aligning to the government’s Vision 2030 that encourages entrepreneurship and self-employment initiatives. Please tell us about the Samsung Innovation Campus programme. Samsung Innovation Campus provides ICT education to students in tertiary education. The South African programme focuses on core competencies in coding and programming. Furthermore, the programme trains participants on a range of soft skills to foster talented youth who will go on to shape society. Samsung Electronics South Africa partnered with two previously-disadvantaged institutions, namely Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape and Central University of Technology in the Free State, to improve reach and impact. What is Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition? Launched globally in 2010, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a unique competition that encourages innovative thinking, creative problemsolving and teamwork to nurture social innovation ideas that address the community’s most pressing problems. Samsung Solve for Tomorrow was designed to increase interest and proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Celebrations after the Tshimologong Graduation Ceremony. Samsung Solve for Tomorrow encourages young people to apply STEM to find creative solutions to solve social issues within their communities. This year, Samsung Electronics South Africa, in partnership with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), will pilot the Solve for Tomorrow contest for the first time in South Africa with 52 pre-selected schools nationally. Samsung employees will mentor 10 finalists to create the prototype of their solution and will ultimately compete for the top prizes on offer. What does the EEIP mean to Samsung? Good corporate citizenship. Samsung is not just a leader in innovation, it also cares about the communities where it operates, the environment and the economic upliftment of disadvantaged communities. Through greater collaboration with various government departments, Samsung is contributing to the socioeconomic development of the country and thus contributing to the overall transformation of the South African economy. ABOUT SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO, LTD. Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. Samsung believes that living by strong values is the key to good business. That’s why its core values, along with a rigorous code of conduct, are at the heart of every decision the company makes. The company follows a simple business philosophy: to devote its talent and technology to creating superior products and services that contribute to a better global society. To achieve this, Samsung sets a high value on its people and technologies. For the latest news, please visit Samsung Newsroom: 50 | Hlubi Shivanda, Director: Business Operations and Innovation and Corporate Affairs

Barloworld, reimagining diversity Gender-linked bonds bring new levels of transparency and accountability to promoting gender diversity in the workplace. GENDERED FINANCE Biography: Relebohile Malahleha After studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and having done her articles at KPMG, Relebohile worked as a Chief Director at National Treasury. She returned to KPMG for an eight-year stint as partner. She describes much of her work as “accounting transformation”. She was first appointed in Barloworld as the CFO of Avis Budget and subsequently promoted to Barloworld Corporate Office as the Executive Strategic Finance responsible for Group finance strategy, Treasury, Corporate finance and Technical. Barloworld is committed to improving its gender diversity outcomes. The group has been a leader in this field for decades, going back to the 1970s with the formulation of a group-wide code of employment practice, the first of its kind to be adopted by a major South African company. Now, performance-linked gender bonds will drive further positive change within the workplace and among the companies that supply Barloworld with goods and services. Women will be empowered. As Relebohile Malahleha, Barloworld Executive: Strategic Finance and Treasury, says, “The bonds are a perfect fit with the group’s policy and purpose.” Barloworld was announced as the Gender Mainstreaming Champion for 2020 and is proud that two black women are chief executives of business units: Car Rental and the SMD business unit. But the group continues to search for new ways to promote women and women’s issues with diversity, equal opportunities and procurement practices as the key focus. This is why the issuance of Africa's first gender-linked bond is a significant milestone for Barloworld in their transformation journey. Malahleha notes that the journey towards setting diversity targets began in 2017. When discussions began with financial services company RMB about placing a bond with them, the response from the bankers was very positive. “They said that Barloworld is probably the most gender-diverse business on the listed exchange,” remembers Malahleha. “RMB thought that our pioneering a genderlinked bond would be absolutely perfect messaging for what the business believes in.” Sustainable finance with gender-specific key outcomes will also encourage greater transparency when Barloworld reports, and from other companies who might choose to follow the group’s lead in going to the market for this type of bond financing. Says Malahleha, “Investors can purchase a bond that holds us accountable in terms of performance from a gender perspective. The key performance indicators (KPIs) imposed were to achieve equity in the number of women employed at senior levels and to procure from women-led businesses. We are looking for 50% representation of females in those senior positions.” The Barloworld Business System (BBS) is a structured business operating system that enables a high-performance culture of both continuous improvement and business excellence and enables our strategy execution. BBS is underpinned by two principles – respect for people and continuous improvement. Malahleha comments, “We are trying to make sure that there is decision-making at the lowest level of the business. We hold huddles every day where we identify problems. What doesn’t get resolved gets escalated. That’s how we make sure that we promote diversity and inclusion and it becomes a conversation at all levels.” On her own journey within the company, Malahleha remembers her early days as the CFO of Avis Budget: “You are always going to get challenged as an individual first and foremost, as a woman and as a black woman, even more so.” But she worked hard to overcome the challenges. “When you become more senior, it is about being able to work through people and its about your ability to influence others. In life, and in whatever you do you need to be certain in what you believe in,” she notes. “We had to make significant changes to systems and processes. We had to challenge and convince senior members of the organisation to adapt to change. That means doing the hard work of being up to date with what is happening and educating myself. You need to find other mechanisms of fighting your fight and different avenues of influencing the people that you are trying to influence.” | 51

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