More specifically, Rockwell Automation has joined hands with two influential South African trusts, Ma Afrika Tikkun endowment trust and Simanye trust, who will be its BBBEE shareholders.
Barry Elliot, MD of Rockwell Automation Sub-Saharan Africa, explains that the collaboration represents an opportunity “to pursue a focused strategy based around education, employment and enterprise opportunities that can make a genuine contribution to what they recognised as their responsibility of uplifting underprivileged communities.
“It’s not just corporate social responsibility, it’s a social licence to operate,” says Elliott.
[quote]“Rockwell Automation looked for a strategic shareholder through whom we could make sure our social development objectives could achieve maximum impact in the communities and people that need it most. This is a long-term investment in our country with substantial shareholders that have an excellent track record,” he says.
Errol Pillay, CEO of Afrika Tikkun services explains that Afrika Tikkun’s methodology revolves around pursuing synergies of complimentary skillsets that leverage maximum effectiveness in social development initiatives.
“On the one hand, we’re channelling development mandates of Rockwell Automation into focused projects and programmes that are developing young people. Such corporate backing means we can enhance the reach of these initiatives. But such corporate relationships also bring new skillsets and intellectual property to our organisation that we can use in our own skilling initiatives to stay relevant in a constantly changing business world.”
Simanye trust aims to bring its own expertise in ensuring developmental campaigns achieve a level of self-sufficiency that is rare in an empowerment climate largely defined by donations and sponsorships.
“Since we began in 2012, Simanye trust has focused on addressing systemic problems within our country through innovative enterprise development initiatives that can be sustainable within capitalist models without just relying on corporate funding,” says Alana Bond, founder and trustee, Simanye trust.
Simanye trusts’ partnership with Afrika Tikkun creates a complimentary synergy that is the perfect vehicle to match the corporate social responsibility objectives of Rockwell Automation.
With a new B-BBEE Shareholder and a new centre for its Sub-Saharan African operations, Rockwell Automation continues to demonstrate its seriousness in fulfilling its social and economic mandate in South Africa, and its commitment to the African continent, aligning perfectly with the mission of Rockwell Automation to improve the standard of living for everyone by making the world more productive and sustainable.