Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  02 Nov 2011

BEE: PwCÂ’s Ongoing Commitment to BEE Recognised


Recent Gauteng Business News

Professional services firm PwC has been recognised for its ongoing commitment to BEE or Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) by being rated an AAA - Level 2 contributor, according to the provisions of the Chartered Accountancy (CA) Sector Code.

PwC attributes the achievement of this rating largely due to an increasing focus on transformation, skills development and investment in disadvantaged communities. This is in line with the Government's objective to support the development of skills and the creation of jobs in the economy.

Suresh Kana, CEO of PwC Southern Africa, says: "Transformation is an economic imperative and it is not only essential to the growth of the firm but also to the economy.”

Commitment to BEE Gives Positive Outlook on Company

“PwC has a responsibility to its clients and people to be truly representative of the demographics of the country. The AAA-rating is further proof that transformation is taking place within the firm and encourages us to build on our successes to date and to further realise the broader objectives of the profession and country,” says Kana.

The CA CharterÂ’s primary focus is on skills development with the objective to increase the number of black chartered accountants, particularly black women entering the profession, to reflect the demographics of the country. Black chartered accountants have been identified as possessing critical skills that are short in supply and yet in great demand. The CA Charter aims to achieve a target of 32,5 percent black ownership by 2016. This is more than the equity targets of 25 percent contained in the GovernmentÂ’s BEE Codes of Good Practice.

Kana says: “Skills development and education are key focus areas of the firm’s corporate responsibility programme.” He says that the firm’s education initiatives aim to address the country’s skills shortage and access a talent pool of young professionals, particularly black accountants. The firm has invested in school infrastructural development, maths, accounting and IT skills for pupils and teachers, including life skills training.

Commitment to BEE Shown Through Bursaries and Scholar Development

This year, the firm awarded 860 bursaries, of which 63 percent were from previously disadvantaged communities. PwC has also qualified over 900 black chartered accountants over the past eight years and remains the single largest developer of chartered accountants in the country. The firm was recently recognised by the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants in Southern Africa (ABASA) for its achievement in producing the highest number of black chartered accountants this year.

Kana says the firm also recognises the need to transfer useful business skills to owner-managers of small, medium and micro-enterprises. The firmÂ’s senior partners set up the Business Skills for South Africa Foundation (BSSA) in 1992,

to provide business and entrepreneurial skills to previously disadvantaged communities in order to create jobs. To date, BSSA has trained in excess of 20 000 entrepreneurs. Another of the firmÂ’s initiatives, Faranani, aims to empower women from rural communities by teaching them business skills.

PwC’s employees have also being involved in a number of volunteer projects and pro bono work, such as Habitat, an initiative which enables employees to get “their hands dirty” in making a contribution to help alleviate the critical shortage of houses.

PwC is more than 27,6 percent black owned. These percentages apply equally to black ownership and an economic interest in the firm. The firmÂ’s number of black staff amounts to 1850, of which 79 are partners. A significant percentage (63%) of the firmÂ’s newly admitted partners are black. After several years of negotiation, the CA Charter was recently gazetted and implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry. The CA Council assesses the scorecards of accounting firms on an annual basis. The evaluation under the CA Accountancy Sector Code takes all elements of B-BBEE into account and has therefore seen and awarded their commitment to BEE.

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