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SAP to promote youth development with latest BBBEE deal

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This move, a first of its kind for a multinational company in the IT sector in South Africa, comes on top of SAP South Africa’s existing 10.5% ownership by broad-based black IT organisation, BLITEC.

According to SAP South Africa, in today’s highly competitive globalised economy, the need is becoming increasingly acute for qualitative higher education to lay the appropriate foundation for young people to meet the increasingly complex and competitive challenges of the future well-prepared.

SAP South Africa has revealed that it will issue 19.5% of its shares to a Broad-Based-Black-Economic-Empowerment (BBBEE) Trust that will distribute dividends to beneficiaries who will use the funds to cover education costs at accredited institutions. By using these dividends for education purposes, the beneficiaries of The SAP South Africa Empowerment Trust will obtain long term sustainable economic self-sufficiency.

This move, a first of its kind for a multinational company in the IT sector in South Africa, comes on top of SAP South Africa’s existing 10.5% ownership by broad-based black IT organisation, BLITEC. The development announced today means that SAP South Africa achieves the required 30% ownership target in the BBBEE Codes applicable to all South African IT companies.

Partnership with the Maharishi Institute

The promotion of skills that prepare young people for the cut-throat job market and the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set needed to set South Africa’s youth on the road towards contributing meaningfully to the economy is a priority that both Government and the Private Sector must address.  IT skills in particular are a must in today’s globally competitive job market.

SAP South Africa has identified the Johannesburg-based Maharishi Institute at which The SAP Empowerment Trust beneficiaries are enrolled [for post-standard degrees] with accredited partner educational institutions as an entity that provides not only access to an effective education but also provides the relevant life-skills and ethos that assist in transforming previously disadvantaged graduates to market-ready accomplished individuals.

The Maharishi Institute is a renowned non-profit organisation that, through innovative methods, provides tertiary education in the areas of finance, technology infrastructure, life skills and bridging. The institute has had close to 100% placement rate of graduates into full time jobs for many thousands of previously disadvantaged students through accredited partners.

“Partnering with SAP in this way is game-changing for the Maharishi Institute,” commented Dr. Taddy Blecher, CEO, Maharishi Institute, South Africa. “We are a non-profit group that has exclusively served disadvantaged individuals for 35 years with a focus on youth in South Africa. We have seen the power of facilitating access to post-secondary education bringing employment to over 14,000 [previously unemployed] individuals who are now breadwinners for over 70,000 family members. The beneficiaries of The SAP South Africa Empowerment Trust will increase this number and, working together, we will change the lives of the beneficiaries by giving them meaningful life-skills and bringing them into the information technology sector and the wider corporate business world in South Africa and the global economy. SAP has always been a game-changing company. It is forward-thinking and takes its leadership position seriously. We feel the profound choice the company has made in its BEE ownership is an investment into previously disadvantaged beneficiaries and through them, into the future of South Africa for all time.”

The beneficiaries of The SAP South Africa Empowerment Trust:

– will obtain access to business degrees that allow them to familiarise themselves with the cutting-edge interface between business processes and information technology, making them extremely marketable;

– will have exposure to SAP, one of the leading business software companies in the world, in a way that unpacks their business education in a real-world context and brings it to life

Blecher concluded by saying, “SAP has shown, once again, its market-leading methods by implementing a truly innovative and life-changing black empowerment initiative, resulting in an outcome that benefits not only its direct beneficiaries but many South Africans for generations to follow.”

Details of the Transaction

SAP South Africa will issue shares to The SAP South Africa Empowerment Trust, the beneficiaries of which are previously disadvantaged black students.  These beneficiaries will use the dividends received from SAP South Africa to pay for studies facilitated by the Maharishi Institute.

“SAP is passionately driving the Africa innovation technology agenda by focusing on skills developments initiatives that result in sustainable and meaningful empowerment of previously disadvantaged persons. Strategic skills development translates into job creation,” commented Pfungwa Serima, CEO, SAP Africa. “We identified the Maharishi Institute because of its long term track record of success in facilitating the development of skills so that graduates get more than a piece of paper post-training and acquire the life-skills and attitudes essential for the fast changing technology arena in the 21st century.

Our beneficiaries will acquire not only education relevant to our industry but will also become equipped with the real-world tools they need to become potential leaders and business-owners of tomorrow. The implications for the South African economy are self-evident.”

Staff Writer

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