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Community Initiatives in South Africa – Wipro Siyapha

In line with Wipro’s principle of ‘good citizenship’, Wipro in South Africa has instituted a set of policies, practices and initiatives which contribute towards the social goals of South Africa. These initiatives are also in line with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act of South Africa, which aims to distribute wealth across as broad a spectrum of previously disadvantaged members of South African society as possible. The Act is centered on 5 elements - ownership, management control, skills development, enterprise and supplier development, and socio-economic development. Companies are expected to have a social strategy that spans all these areas.

The BBBEE Act aims to enhance the economic participation and representation of previously disadvantaged South African communities in the economy. Wipro South Africa strives to contribute towards these goals through policies and business practices. Towards this end, there is a strong focus on localization of the workforce in South Africa. We also have a procurement policy in place that ensures maximum local procurement possible from companies in line with the BBBEE Act and other related regulatory requirements.

Wipro Siyapha brings together multiple initiatives under the pillars of skill development, enterprise development and socio-economic development. These initiatives span the areas of education, skill development and employment generation.

Skill Development through Internship Programs

Wipro is extending its global expertise in IT services to South African nationals through its WEESA (Wipro Employability Enhancement for South Africa) program. Interns are selected following an intensive process consisting of aptitude tests and personal interviews. Upon selection, interns undergo a six months training exercise which includes a rigorous 3-month technical and soft skills training at Wipro’s Centre of Excellence in Johannesburg and a 3-month on-the-job training at client sites. Interns who do well in the program are offered employment in Wipro South Africa. Wipro Overseas Internship Program also offers a few of these interns the opportunity for further a two month training in India. We also offer a one month graduate training program in Wipro’s Bangalore, India facility for the associates of one of our banking clients in South Africa.

Enterprise and Socio-Economic Development

In line with Wipro’s abiding commitment to education as an area of social change, Enterprise Development (ED) and Socio-economic Development (SED) initiatives in South Africa have a strong focus on education. Under the ED and SED pillars, Wipro has supported the setting up of computer learning incubators and libraries in schools and community centres in rural areas. We have also supported after-school centers in urban disadvantaged areas. We are currently in the process of devising a long term strategy to contribute to improvement in education in South Africa which will be similar in many ways to our school education programs in India.

In addition to this, employee contribution through volunteering and donation drives are organized to encourage a culture of giving and participation by employees.

Program Outcomes and Impact

Existing initiatives over the last two to three years include:

  • Completion of four batches of internships between 2012 and 2015 covering 113 students. Close to 40% of these students are currently working with Wipro in various projects in South Africa. In 2014, 5 Interns from the first batch traveled to India for further training.
  • Completion of four batches of graduate training program for one of our leading banking clients from 2010 till date covering over 200 + South African associates.
  • Support for the setting up of four libraries and computer learning incubators at rural schools/community sites; Selection and training of five SMMEs to run the facilities and earn an income from the projects.
  • Support for the establishment of a toy library at an after-school learning center located at an urban community in Brixton, Johannesburg.