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Opportunity Issue 99

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors and looks to provide its readers with first-hand knowledge about South African business. Opportunity also looks to present South African business to international markets that may have interests in investing in South Africa. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


INTERVIEW ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH SKILLS TRANSFER AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Collen Dlamini, Executive Head of Corporate Affairs at MultiChoice, explains how the group develops filmmakers and sports stars and supports entrepreneurs in a range of creative sectors. When did you start with MultiChoice South Africa and what are your responsibilities? I joined MultiChoice South Africa in February 2021 as the Executive Head of Corporate Affairs. I am responsible for protecting and enhancing the reputation and image of MultiChoice and its product brands in South Africa. I manage and oversee stakeholder relations, corporate communications, internal communications, corporate services, reputation management, CSI, transformation and the company’s social impact agenda. You are a lawyer by training and have worked in media, publishing and education: how have these experiences helped prepare you for your current role? I cherish the profound experience that I’ve gained in a range of industries and a variety of senior management roles. I believe this has helped me to become a great team player with the ability to forge solid relationships with strategic partners and build consensus across multiple organisational levels. What is the thrust of MultiChoice’s CSI vision? Our purpose is to enrich lives. We are committed to contribute to the economic and social development of our country. Our CSI initiatives focus on creating employment opportunities, developing up-and-coming filmmakers and sports stars through training and skills transfers, and supporting budding entrepreneurs and SMMEs. The following are some of our CSI projects: SuperSport Let’s Play gives young people the opportunity to participate in sport activities and for the past 15 years, Let’s Play has reached more than 1.5-million children in thousands of schools and communities to improve their overall wellness through social and physical stimulation. DStv Diski Challenge bridges a gap to make it possible for young players from the reserve teams to break into the Premier Soccer League (PSL). To date, over 230 players have been promoted to PSL first teams and almost all 32 PSL (Premiership and National First Division) teams have a Diski Challenge graduate in their squad. Over 160 players represented South Africa’s national team in international competitions and 10 Diski Challenge graduates were part of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics squad. MultiChoice Talent Factory invests in Africa’s creative industry to grow a pipeline of African storytellers. The internship has trained 206 students over the past six years and 26 alumni are currently working on MultiChoice productions. DStv Netball Challenge was launched for players aged 16 to 19 in secondary schools countrywide and has also provided an opportunity for young broadcasters to develop their skills in sports productions as games were broadcast live on SuperSport. As part of the Challenge, 56 |

INTERVIEW MultiChoice partnered with SASN to offer developmental training to coaches and coordinators across the school netball ecosystem. Industry experts trained 127 coaches and administrators online. We provide the latest broadcast equipment and training to regional TV stations on DStv, enhancing their ability to produce local stories that connect with their local audiences by providing them with the latest broadcast equipment, training in production, business education and management, as well as funding to produce local stories. We also partnered with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to assist with the recruitment and training of 300 learners. Seventyfive TVET college students received internships across a diversified portfolio that includes HR, Finance, Marketing, Law and IT, while the remaining 225 places were prioritised for learnerships in the ICT space for matriculants and others with qualifications but who are not working. Does MultiChoice have a Supplier Development Programme? MultiChoice has an ESD system through the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust, recently branded as the Multichoice Innovation Fund, which focuses on funding SMEs that operate in the broadcasting, innovation, technology and ICT sectors. MultiChoice also provides mentorship and the skills necessary to acquire assets and supply MultiChoice with various highquality productions. Our ESD programmes have helped to drive transformation in South Africa in the ICT industry by prioritising black-owned, black women-owned and youth-owned initiatives. To be eligible to be a beneficiary of the MultiChoice Enterprise Development Trust, companies need to be in the ICT sector, be minimum 51% blackowned, with a turnover that does not exceed R50-million per annum. Since inception, the fund has disbursed R252-million in loans, grants and business development expenses to assist beneficiaries in acquiring skills and assets. Our ESD programmes are truly effective as they have been able to create jobs, impact the South African economy, are sustainable and help ensure that our communities are viable. Since 2012, our beneficiaries have grown more than expected, where some have generated more than R100-million per annum. Our ESD programmes are: • Enterprise development through the Innovation Fund which uplifts small black entrants into the market. This year, we funded nine companies which now have diversified portfolios and additional revenue streams. • Our preferential procurement programme ensures continuous support of BEE-compliant suppliers that are in our database. • Supplier development through the Innovation Fund. We have helped small service providers grow and remain sustainable. We have funded 21 companies including Duma Collective, which is now MultiChoice’s digital and PR agency. • One of Multichoice Group’s strategic pillars focuses on Employee Development, where operational excellence is maintained through developing talent, skills and diversity. The Group leadership continues to pledge both investment and focus on the growth of internal staff and our positive impact upon the communities we serve. Please share with us some success stories in relation to MultiChoice’s support of entrepreneurship. Our ability to develop entrepreneurs in South Africa continues to be something we are extremely proud of. During this past year, with its Covid-related challenges, our Innovation Fund provided much-needed financial support to 10 small businesses, which helped them create 47 new jobs. Due to the exponential growth of online content, the Fund focused on empowering online content creators to scale up to meet the growing demand. Here are the eight companies that you should take note of: • The Bubblegum Club: born as a cultural intelligence agency, it has grown into a digital publication and a content production studio. • Duma Collective: a creative communications agency. • Mzansi Live: a Pan African independent multimedia management company, which developed Mzansi2Cario, a broadcast media marketplace. • Swypa Deliveries uses door-to-door scooters to deliver goods and services for township-based businesses for orders placed through their app. • The Plug: an online publication focusing on all aspects of urban culture. • The Throne: a boutique agency specialising in influencer marketing, social media strategy, talent management and the home of The Throne Magazine. • Whoosh: a payment-solutions provider based in Tshwane. • Yellow Bone: a film and television production company, focusing on bringing authentic South African content to international markets. | 57

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