Community Initiatives in South Africa – Wipro Siyapha

“Siyapha” translates to “We Give” in the Nguni language in South Africa. In line with Wipro’s principle of ‘good citizenship’, Wipro in South Africa has instituted a set of policies, practices and initiatives that contribute towards some of the social goals of South Africa. These initiatives are in line with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act of South Africa, which aims to distribute wealth across a broad a spectrum of previously disadvantaged members of South African society. The Act is centered on five elements - ownership, management control, skills development, enterprise and supplier development, and socio-economic development. Companies are expected to have a social strategy that addresses 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 appropriate policies and business practices. For example we have 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 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.

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 a further 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 long commitment to education as an area of social change, our Enterprise Development (ED) and Socio-economic Development (SED) initiatives in South Africa also have a strong focus on education. Under the ED & 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 regularly to encourage a culture of giving and participation by employees.

Key Updates for 2016-17:

  • We completed the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) pre- verification for 2016-17 financial period under new codes, anticipating a Level 3 rating. We are in conversations with potential implementation partners for the teacher development initiative. 21 interns successfully completed their theoretical and on-the job training programs. We partnered with the Industrial Development Corporation to provide information technology infrastructure and improve computer literacy amongst educators, learners and community members.
  • We assisted an employee to register a cleaning company and provided a grant to cover basic business skills for a year.
  • We completed two staff donation drives (educational toys and stationery ) and volunteer initiatives (mentoring)

The operational plan for 2017-18 is aligned with our long term strategy of capacity building in schools, with a focus on primary education. A framework for evaluating organizations in education and the decision-making process is being developed.