Exclusive Networks Africa has maintained its certification as a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 1 contributor, allowing it to pass on a preferential procurement rating, in turn, of 135 percent to its business partners. In addition, says Managing Director Anton Jacobsz, its partners and suppliers have the assurance that they are dealing with a company whose business values have the ongoing economic empowerment of the country as a cornerstone foundational value.
“This rating comes a year after the company was previously recognised as a Level 1 contributor in 2021, and is as a result of much hard work and investment across a number of pertinent criteria,” says Jacobsz. “As one of the newest members of the Paris-based Exclusive Networks Group – a business acquisition which became effective from 01 December 2021 – we were pleased and proud to join a global publicly traded company, although we remain a company deeply committed to the development of South Africa.
“In this regard, it is important to us to retain our B-BBEE Level 1 status in order to interact positively with our business partners, and contribute towards the communities in which we operate, and the country overall.”
Jacobsz notes that obtaining and then maintaining Exclusive Networks Africa’s Level 1 status has required the company to implement a number of initiatives. “Exclusive Networks is making a serious investment in its African part of the business, focusing on people both within the company as well as externally,” he says.
“To maintain our Level 1 status, we have taken pains with such factors as our management control representation levels, as well as making opportunities available within the company to our employees. Training and a commitment to rectifying the skills gap shortage in South Africa are key concerns, as is our relationships with external development partners, and giving back to communities.”
Jacobsz says that Exclusive Networks Africa has long been a supporter of education as part of the economic transformation of the country.
“It is this outlook on the critical role of education in moving our country forward which led, in part, to our partnership with The Love Trust, our B-BBEE partner since 2018,” he explains. “It was therefore vital to us as a company to ensure that we were able to maintain our local business partnership with The Love Trust while we embarked on the arrangements with our new global partner. Our relationship with The Love Trust allows us to continue with the ongoing educational upliftment of vulnerable communities.”
The Love Trust, founded in 2009, is a South African non-profit educational organisation which has, to date, reached over 20,000 primary and secondary beneficiaries in disadvantaged communities. It focuses on three areas, including running Nokuphila School, a low-fee, private school in Tembisa; early childhood development teacher training centres, offering NQF level 4 and 5 accredited training to teachers and principals from township and rural communities; and early childhood development centre support to pre-schools and creches in extremely poor communities.
“The agreement with The Love Trust has permitted us to play our part in true empowerment by the upliftment of young people and teachers in disadvantaged communities,” says Jacobsz. “Nokuphila means ‘place of light’ and here at Exclusive Networks Africa, we are pleased that our partnership with The Love Trust is playing such a worthy role in uplifting some of South Africa’s most vulnerable members of society, through the light that is brought by quality education, as well as providing vocational tertiary education and training of teachers, specifically early childhood education practitioners and primary school teachers.
“We are extremely proud to have retained our Level One rating for another year, and it is gratifying to know that we are changing people’s lives, including through the ultimate domino effect whereby education leads to empowerment, and empowerment, done correctly, ultimately helps lead to economic improvement at the macro level,” he concludes.