Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has announced that it has achieved a Level 3 B-BBEE rating, having previously been rated as Level 4. This follows the multi-national company’s acquisition of its African distributor, Shoden Data Systems, in 2012 and the establishment of a Social and Ethics Committee developed to align the company’s B-BBEE plan with its goals.
Cleo Becker, Regional Counsel for HDS Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel, comments: “The new rating is excellent news for HDS as it will benefit both our customers and our network of partners. As an OEM in South Africa, it is extremely important that we maintain a good B-BBEE rating so that our partners are positively impacted on the procurement element of the B-BBEE scorecard by procuring products and services from us.” She continues, “We hope that our new, improved rating will give us and our partners a competitive advantage because it means that those procuring our products and services will achieve 110% recognition on spend as opposed to the 100% recognition they received when we were rated Level 4.”
HDS has made B-BBEE a priority and a focus area in recent years by taking ownership of the company strategy at an executive level. Each member of the HDS leadership team plays a role in developing the company’s B-BBEE plan and takes accountability for their assigned responsibilities throughout the financial year. Erasmus Jacobs, HDS General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, explains: “We believe that sharing the ownership of the B-BBEE strategy internally instead of outsourcing compliance and strategy, along with aligning our B-BBEE plan to our company goals have been key reasons for our success.”
With the recent introduction of the amended B-BBEE codes, many local and multi-national companies will likely need to adjust their B-BBEE plans and strategies to maintain their ratings. HDS plans to focus on compliance in the spirit of the legislation. “As HDS’s business plan is closely linked to our business goals and strategies, compliance is not a hindrance but an opportunity for us to grow,” says Becker. Jacobs concludes, “HDS’s achievement is proof that multinationals can improve their B-BBEE ratings.”