Following an 18-month transformation process, Dekra Industrial RSA has attained a Level 3 B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) accreditation, with 51% black woman ownership. The agreement with the new majority share option holder, established B-BBEE ownership consultancy Transformation Shared Services (TSS), became effective from February 2021.
Johan Gerber, the company’s managing director, says “Transformation is something we take very seriously at Dekra Industrial. We regard our B-BBEE level upgrade as an extremely important and positive change. We believe it represents an authentic collaboration with a well-respected, value-adding B-BBEE partner – with which we share many synergies. Level 3 B-BBEE accreditation, a vital gateway is now open to many new tenders and projects – particularly given our new black woman ownership status. In addition, this collaboration will support us in the empowerment and transformation of many areas of the business.”
Ashmini Singh, a director of TSS and the new majority share option holder, and now an incoming non-executive director of Dekra Industrial RSA, agrees, saying “Collaboration and trust are at the centre of our partnership with Dekra Industrial. There is a strong mutual accord and synergy between our two companies. Our respective ethos and approach is convergent in so many ways: always seeking to add value, in terms of skills and people empowerment, client service and enterprise development. We are therefore confident that we can continue to grow trust both internally and externally, as a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership.”
According to Gerber, this transformation process has helped the company improve its skills and enterprise development initiatives. The firm is excited about the prospect of making a difference for previously disadvantaged South Africans, he says.
Gerber explains: “On our Koeberg project, for example, many of the general workers or brush hands – all of whom are sourced from local communities – did not have experience working in the non-destructive testing (NDT) or nuclear sector. We undertook a comprehensive mentoring and training process, which facilitated skills empowerment and development of these candidates. As a result, six additional unemployed young people were trained in NDT at Koeberg and an additional two at Dekra Industrial in Middelburg.”
Singh will not be involved in the daily operations of the company, focusing more on strategic oversight and input at board level. She has other business interests, she says, including a long-standing partnership in the law firm SST (Stroebel Singh Theunissen Incorporated) and several independent trusteeships.
Singh says that in addition to providing legal support, she and her team at TSS will add value by networking and opening up opportunities for Dekra Industrial via their client portfolio, many of which could potentially benefit from Dekra Industrial’s NDT and inspection services. Some could also utilise the safety, welding and other training courses offered by the Dekra Institute of Learning (IOL), she adds.
Gavin Wright, a director at Dekra Shared Services and now also a director at Dekra Industrial RSA concurs, observing: “Partnership and collaboration is the key to the transformation agreement between Dekra Industrial and TSS. All due diligence has been observed, and ENSafrica – one of the continent’s largest law firms – has officially ratified and approved the partnership.”
Previously, Dekra Industrial in South Africa was entirely owned by the parent company Dekra SE, headquartered in Germany. “Our parent company’s willingness to embrace transformation in South Africa is a great demonstration of its faith in the future of our company. This vote of confidence from our international shareholders proves that they had the foresight to see transformation as a pivotal development and growth opportunity for Dekra Industrial locally,” Gerber comments.
TSS has been involved with Dekra Industrial since 2016, when it became a 30% shareholder in the company.
“Our revised B-BBEE status – supported by the strong value-adding partnership with TSS – is an important step in proving our commitment to doing business the right way in South Africa,” Gerber concludes.