Empowering South Africa: The AmCham- RMB Series on U.S. Corporate Impact feat. PwC

PwC – Using targeted intervention to stimulate transformative socio-economic impact in South Africa

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and RMB have partnered to showcase how companies are driving social and economic impact in South Africa and on the continent. This month we feature PwC South Africa, a member of the globally renowned network of firms in 151 countries with over 360,000 people committed to delivering quality in Assurance, Consulting and Risk Services, Tax and Legal services and deals. In South Africa, the firm employs over 5000 people. PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems is made tangible in a wide variety of targeted social and environmental initiatives that directly addresses the UN’s key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Shirley Machaba, CEO of PwC in Southern Africa says, “Our commitment to positive change is driven by our “Ubuntu Bethu” strategy, which means Our Humanity. At PwC, our humanity is the catalyst for positive change and societal impact on the continent. This is a paradigm shift in how we see the world and how we live our purpose, while working alongside and encouraging our clients to also become a force for good and make a difference.”

Mapping ongoing impact

PwC’s societal purpose strategy is mapped against three pillars: what they can do as a firm, how they assist clients and help communities around them. This is tracked against PwC’s focus on 7 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequality and climate action. The following are a few of our initiatives that are aligned to each of the 7 SDGs.

PwC South Africa Technology and Innovation Centre (SATIC) is a joint venture between PwC South Africa and PwC United Kingdom, and brings together the collective industry expertise and technical capabilities to innovate, build and deploy digital business solutions. The UK and SA firms are collectively investing more than $5 million to build out capabilities in the centre which will service clients in both SA and the UK in key areas such as SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, Cloud, Data Analytics, Transformation Enablement Services and Managed Services. Machaba adds, “In the midst of challenging markets locally and globally, SATIC will have employed over 100 people by the end of June, of which 50% are female and 75% are African, Coloured and Indian. SATIC aims to employ more than 1,000 people by 2027. The centre will also be investing in running and supporting a number of youth development programmes to help develop a future-fit talent pool.”

Service Delivery Centre (SDC) Africa is a strategic investment by the PwC South Africa and PwC UK firms and a core element of the Assurance transformation programme. The SDC provides support to PwC offices across Africa, as well as the Netherlands firm. The centre, which adds value by standardising and improving audit quality, currently employs over 400 staff of which 71% are female and 83% are African, Coloured and Indian. Graduates from South African universities and other tertiary institutions who typically are not following the CA(SA) route are employed and provided opportunities in the SDC to develop technical and soft skills to build a career.

Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative instils a culture of entrepreneurship among women from rural areas by imparting business skills that include practical marketing, pricing, costing, effective financial management and developing a business plan. Machaba says, “To date, 4200 women from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, North West, KZN, Free State and the Western Cape have graduated from the programme, and we are proud to share that 68% of them have been able to increase profitability in their businesses and created.