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Reaping the rewards

More than 2 000 students have found employment thanks to funding from several multinational companies as part of their equity equivalent programmes.

 A number of black entrepreneurs have also been assisted through mentoring and training.

 Multinationals that are unable to sell equity to black partners under the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE)

 codes because their global practice or policy does not permit it, are allowed to use equity equivalent programmes as an alternative, upon approval from the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

The seven multinational companies that have so far had equity equivalent programmes approved

by the department have pledged to spend R1 billion over the next few years helping to train students and mentor black entrepreneurs.

The dti spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said more than 2 000 students

have either been employed by the participating multinationals or other companies in different sectors.

He added that black enterprises assisted by multinationals through the programme had seen a general increase in efficiency and effectiveness.

“The outcome has been positive given that a vast number of black students completed training and are now employed.

Regarding black small enterprises, there has been a significant improvement in their revenue growth levels and creation of employment opportunities,” said Medupe.

In addition one equity equivalent programme, run by Belgian multinational Hansen Transmissions and aimed at schools in the North West, has reached over 12 000 learners.

The programme, run since 2010, provides youth and learners with educational material with a special focus on mathematics,

science and life skills, as well as facilitating youth participation for creative industries.

It is in part funded by the R8.5 million pledged by the Belgian firm to fund the roll-out of an electronic information transmission platform to marginalised communities.

“We have seen schools that were underperforming before the programme was installed in their school, reach up to a 90 per cent pass rate,”

 said Tshamano Lishivha, the manager of the Ulwazi Express programme, which was established

by Hansen Transmissions. Lishivha said the programme also assists schools to improve their internet connectivity,

build teacher capacity and improve learner performance by providing access to technology, support science and multimedia centres at schools.

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