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Following an 18 month transformation process, Dekra Industrial in South Africa has recently attained a Level 3 B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) accreditation, with 51 percent black woman ownership. The agreement with the new majority share option holder, established B-BBEE ownership consultancy Transformation Shared Services (TSS), became effective from February 2021.
“Transformation is something we take very seriously at Dekra Industrial. We regard our B-BBEE level upgrade as an extremely important and very positive change, in that it represents an authentic collaboration with a well-respected, value-adding B-BBEE partner - with whom we share many synergies. Furthermore, in moving up to Level 3 B-BBEE accreditation, a vital gateway is now open to many new tenders and projects – particularly given our new black woman ownership status,” says Johan Gerber, Managing Director at Dekra Industrial RSA.
“In addition, this collaboration will support us in the empowerment and transformation of many areas of the business,” Gerber adds.
Director of TSS and new majority share option holder, incoming Non-Executive Director of Dekra Industrial RSA, Ashmini Singh agrees: “Collaboration and trust are at the centre of our partnership with Dekra Industrial. There is a strong mutual accord and synergy between our two companies. Our respective ethos and approach is convergent in so many ways: always seeking to add value, in terms of skills and people empowerment, client service and enterprise development. We are therefore confident that we can continue to grow trust both internally and externally, as a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership,” Singh enthuses.
Speaking to the empowerment aspect of the collaboration, Gerber advises: “In effecting this transformation process, among other things, we have ramped up our company-wide skills and enterprise development initiatives; and we are excited about the prospect of making a difference for previously disadvantaged South Africans.
On our Koeberg project, for example, many of the general workers or brush hands – all of whom are sourced from local communities – did not have experience working in the non-destructive testing (NDT) or nuclear sector. We undertook a comprehensive mentoring and training process, which facilitated skills empowerment and development of these candidates. As a result, six additional unemployed young people were trained in NDT at Koeberg and an additional two at Dekra Industrial in Middelburg.”
“As a Non-Executive Director and with other business interests – including a long-standing partnership in the law firm SST (Stroebel Singh Theunissen Incorporated) and several independent trusteeships - I will not be involved in the daily operations of the company, focusing more on strategic oversight and input at board level, from our perspective, TSS has the utmost faith in the Dekra Industrial management team to build on our shared vision,” Singh comments.
In addition to giving the value of her substantial legal experience, Singh and her team at TSS will be adding additional value by networking and opening up opportunities for Dekra Industrial via their client portfolio, many of which could potentially benefit from Dekra Industrial’s NDT and inspection services; and could also utilise the safety, welding and other training offered by the Dekra Institute of Learning (IOL).
“TSS has the vision of not only assisting companies to satisfy the necessary B-BBEE requirements - with the support of our legal partners SST - but adding real, demonstrable value to the companies with which we partner. In terms of our Dekra Industrial partnership, we bring a wealth of legal and business management experience to the table. We therefore aim to provide valuable guidance and insight to the Dekra Industrial board. We are also excited about creating new business opportunities by leveraging our existing business network,” Singh advises.
Previously, Dekra Industrial in South Africa was entirely owned by the parent company Dekra SE, headquartered in Germany. “Our parent company’s willingness to embrace transformation in South Africa is a great demonstration of their faith in the future of our company. This vote of confidence from our international shareholders proves that they had the foresight to see transformation as a pivotal development and growth opportunity for Dekra Industrial locally,” Gerber comments.
Gavin Wright, Director at Dekra Shared Services and now also a director at Dekra Industrial RSA concurs, observing: “Partnership and collaboration is the key to the transformation agreement between Dekra Industrial and TSS. All due diligence has been observed, and ENSafrica – one of the continent’s largest law firms – has officially ratified and approved the partnership.
There has been a seamless collaboration in effecting this sea change - both at the global and local level - and we are certain that doors will be opened for both parties, as a result.”
TSS has been involved with Dekra Industrial since 2016, when it became a 30% shareholder in the company.
“TSS’s escalation of their involvement in Dekra Industrial is also a powerful testament to the successful relationship we have built over the past five years. As Non-Executive Director and member of our board, Ashmini brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at executive management level. With her and TSS on board, we are very excited about pursuing new growth opportunities and different avenues in the market!” Gerber remarks.
“Dekra Industrial is proud to be driving change in South Africa, and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with TSS. We are a great fit as partners, and we know that TSS will bring a significant amount of value to Dekra Industrial as we move ahead together, in the spirit of authentic empowerment and collaboration.
Our revised B-BBEE status – supported by the strong value-adding partnership with TSS - is an important step in proving our commitment to doing business the right way in South Africa,” Gerber concludes.