GE South Africa, part of the global multinational GE that has pioneered technologies spurring world-transforming changes and improved the lives of billions, has re-emphasised its commitment to the region this month with its announcement of a BBBEE level 1 rating.
Nyimpini Mabunda, president for Southern Africa, says the rating supports the diversity and inclusion agenda that GE is driving globally.
“We are particularly proud of this achievement at a time when the country is reeling under the impact of the third wave of the pandemic and we can mobilise much of our global IP and infrastructure to support our colleagues in the healthcare sector. We also want to pledge our support to ongoing investment in SA despite the recent civil unrest,” he said.
Mabunda says the business is particularly invested in skills development and education in communities where access is often limited. “We target educational, engineering and health initiatives in our community development.” The recent ground-breaking of a R60 million full turnkey health facility in Botleng in Delmas in Mpumalanga (due for completion 2022) and the new IT lab at Bonwelong Primary school are recent examples.
Mabunda believes there is not enough significant investment in projects of this nature to improve access and stresses that as a company GE is committed to partnering with local government to invest locally. This goes hand in hand with its focus on skills, not only in the health sector but also in aviation and engineering where GE is a global leader in Renewable energy.
“GE SA and its group of businesses, including Oil and Gas, Power, Transportation, Healthcare, Energy Connections and Aviation, has been consistent in its training and development programmes for talented, underprivileged university students, providing 300 bursaries in the last two years. “We have invested over R10million in the last year and have also implemented a successful learnership programme targeting youths living with disabilities.” Mabunda says it is critical that the business is focused on ensuring that the future generation of engineers, technicians and scientists has access to necessary and effective training. Efforts are centred around supporting quality education, and focused on reducing the critical skills gap.
GE provides ongoing support to Government’s STEM initiative with the majority of the beneficiaries in the past year being young black women in high school. “As a business that has been in South Africa for over a century, we believe we have the responsibility to partner with other stakeholders to drive sustainability through investment in skills and CSI,” he says.
Over the past five years the company has also been involved in a number of initiatives aimed at accelerating the growth of black owned startup and emerging businesses in engineering and manufacturing as well as being involved in JA South Africa (Junior Achievement South Africa).
“We continue to identify new black-owned enterprises in an effort to create jobs and support local SME’s and impacted communities through technical and business development,” concludes Mabunda.