Siemens has consistently played a leading role in advancing the cause of black economic empowerment (BEE) and years before legislation was put in place to address the issue, the company initiated its first empowerment deals in December 2000. Today, Siemens has a 30% BEE shareholding, with 15% being owned by Sekunjalo Investment Holdings and 15% owned by the Siemens Employee Share Ownership Trust. The Employee Share Ownership Trust is our commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment that essentially allows eligible employees to share in the long-term success of the company.
Our commitment to the development and empowerment of women has been demonstrated in the criteria that we have used to allocate ownership to our black staff. To ensure that women are economically empowered, we have allocated more units to them, increasing our Black Women Ownership to 15.59%.
Siemens Africa is committed to embracing the diversity and values of all of its people and harnessing this power by promoting equitable gender and race representation. Through a combination of targeted recruitment, skills development, promotions and cross-functional career development opportunities we have dramatically improved diversity in management at all levels. Black representation in middle management has grown from 8% in 2000 to 33% in 2012. At supervisory and technical specialist level, representation is up from 19% in 2000 to 40% at present.
With our spending power exceeding R2-billion, Siemens South Africa has the potential to make a lasting, real and sustainable impact on the local economy and the promotion and development of Black-owned companies. About 37% of our procurement spend is with black-owned and black-empowered suppliers, of which 12% is procured from qualifying small enterprises and 16% from black women owned companies. On-going initiatives are being introduced to ensure a visible increase going forward.
Enterprise Development forms the core of our country’s economic sustainability. It is in this regard that we haves invested over R100 million towards supporting our strategic black partners in their quest for economic sustainability, by enabling them to hold 100% black share ownership in businesses which continue to have access to market and thrive as stand-alone enterprises. For example, in the IT and healthcare space, two Siemens supported black enterprises have continued to grow in their respective industries, through the divestment of our shareholding at discounted rates.
Siemens’ support of Masemi Engineering Worx is another good example of our participation in enterprise development. The company, an SME, has been subcontracted as a Siemens switchgear service provider. The company was granted partial workload guarantees, and at the same time is still able to service its own customers, with full Siemens quality certification and ad hoc Siemens supervisor back-up. The initiative is a significant one, because a maintenance backlog to the value of around R27 billion exists in the electrical supply industry. By empowering Masemi through skills transfer, Siemens has played a part in addressing the skills shortage which has resulted in this backlog.
Through the collaboration with the Mvezo Development Trust in the building of the Mandela School of Science and Technology in the rural community of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape, we will invest even more in enterprise development. The communities of Mvezo will benefit from the identification, support and procurement from small and medium enterprises in the surrounding areas.
Adding local value – encompassing sales, production and engineering is a key success factor for business in South Africa. Siemens has four main manufacturing and service facilities in South Africa supporting various local industries.
Our local manufacturing facility in Northriding, Johannesburg manufactures low and medium voltage switchgear, and develops solutions for power transmission.
Siemens has a power generation mechanical services facility in Wadeville, Germiston. Besides manufacturing turbomachinery, its main activity is the manufacture of spare parts for industrial-type machines and power stations.
At our facility in Northriding, Johannesburg we support the local transportation industry through the localisation of rail automation systems, like signalling technologies and electronic interlockings. We also build LED signal units for rail and road transportation, as well as road traffic controllers.
In Isando, Johannesburg, Siemens manufactures gears and motors, industrial geared units and couplings for industry and mining.
Siemens has a facility in Pinetown, Durban for the service of equipment, such as mechanical drives and turbines for energy and industry.
Our facilities not only manufacture and service high quality products to meet local demands but also incorporate local content by creating jobs and promote skills development.