Johannesburg, 5 November 2019 - Accenture South Africa (Accenture - NYSE:ACN) has again achieved Level 1 B-BBEE status for FY19. This significant achievement reflects the firm’s commitment to South Africa and unlocking the abundant potential our country holds for all her people.

"Strong values drive Accenture and we regard empowerment not as a mere compliance exercise but sincerely take up our role as a responsible corporate citizen that must also act as a catalyst for change in our industry and the South African business community at large," says Vukani Mngxati, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture Africa.

He adds that all South Africans must be able to participate meaningfully in the mainstream economy and we are proud to do our bit to help realise this national objective. "We believe that to build a sustainable economy, the private sector must work together with government to maximise the potential of the country’s people and enterprises," states Mngxati.

Accenture’s achievement is built on the consistent efforts of all of our employees and our leadership who keep our B-BBEE vision alive and act on it. Accenture’s Level 1 B-BBEE status with a 135 percent procurement level also stands its valued clients in good stead—for every R1.00 a client spends with Accenture, they can claim R1.35 enhanced procurement in their own B-BBEE preferential procurement scorecard.

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. The firm works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.

"Inclusion and diversity are cornerstones of Accenture’s global business and not merely a compliance priority. With a team of 469,000 people from a variety of cultures, beliefs and backgrounds, we believe that it’s our rich diversity that makes us more successful—more innovative, more competitive, smarter and more creative. It helps us better serve our clients and our communities. While laws and regulations in the countries in which we live and work may differ, inclusion and diversity are part of our shared core values; our commitment to upholding them starts at the top with our Board and extends across every dimension of the company," explains Mngxati.

"At Accenture, we welcome people with different capabilities, perspectives, and experiences because we believe that this diversity emanates in novel ideas and approaches to business challenges, a higher level of innovative thinking and more varied tactics that help achieve greater levels of success," says Mngxati.

Since 2016 Accenture has been running a skills programme, EmployAbility Cadet Programme, for persons with disabilities in conjunction with programme partners KLM Empowered, Mentec, SA Youth Project, and Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). Through this initiative, Accenture continually support disability inclusion in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The first intake of 2016 will graduate in 2019. Over the course of the three-year learnership programme, candidates complete a project management qualification (NQF4), advanced project management (NQF5), as well as a National Certificate in Information Technology. During the same period, the learners obtain practical experience and the opportunity to put the theoretical knowledge into practice.

"Building a sustainable economy is critical to South Africa’s growth and supports Accenture’s success in this country. Our vision is to improve the way the world works and how people live, and we see transformation as a key component to make this vision a reality," he says.

Accenture South Africa again regained our Level 1 status, first achieved in 2016, due largely to the impact of our empowering ownership, enterprise and supplier development and socio-economic development initiatives. In its most recent B-BBEE audit, Accenture was awarded the maximum points for ownership and socio-economic development while its enterprise and supplier development attracted four bonus points beyond the maximum score. The management control and skills development Accenture scores were also higher than the industry norm.

Accenture is 30 percent black-owned and 15.9 percent black women-owned through equity shareholding by the broad-based fully black-owned Akha Trust. Accenture is committed to supporting companies that are B-BBEE compliant over those that aren't. Our procurement processes also promote the use of black and black women-owned suppliers and business partners.

The Accenture ESDP programme includes executive training and mentoring for SME business owners, to assist them in building innovative, agile and sustainable businesses. It also provides business development support via opportunities within Accenture's supply chain, or those of its clients. These efforts are crucial to grow the pool of relevant business skills available to a flourishing South African market and indeed adding value across the African continent.

As a global organisation, Accenture believes we have a responsibility to engage proactively with the businesses in communities in which we live and work. One of these ways is through the Accenture global Diverse Supplier Development Programme (DSDP), where we create opportunities for qualified enterprises to grow and actively participate in the economy. Our DSDP, a mentorship programme launched in the US in 2006, now runs in 4 geographies (US, Canada, UKI and South Africa) and has successfully graduated diverse suppliers. We are recognised as one of the leading companies for Supplier Inclusion and Diversity.

"In accelerating SMEs, the programme leverages Accenture’s capabilities and global reach while exposing the SMEs to the latest cutting-edge Technology and Digital solutions. Our ESD programme is driven from the top and is designed to meet transformation goals of Accenture and its clients. It has progressed to strategically enable growth and generate pipeline to procurement transformation strategy," states Mngwati. "The programme allows us not to only develop SME but also to procure from them. The programme significantly contributes to our B-BBEE scorecard, however, it was established and adopted long before the Government formalised its expectations of empowerment in the private sector," he says.

"At Accenture we are on a mission to ensure that we remain competitive and serve our clients well in the market by being a holder of the best possible B-BBEE credentials. We have established proportional representation of diversity (race, gender, disability) at all organisational levels in Accenture and every area of our business. Transformation at Accenture is meaningful, and we make sure that every Accenture employee feels like they are part of Accenture and that their contribution to both our clients and our business matters," says Mngxati.

As part of Accenture South Africa’s enduring commitment to helping prepare vulnerable youth for the future of work, the company partners with Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), providing both training and job opportunities. The Hour of Code activities were taught in a language called Scratch which comes from MIT. It’s a coding language that even preschool kids can learn to program in. It’s very accessible. With Scratch, people can very quickly produce things such a game or app. "There has been huge emphasis on coding for the last year or two in SA and Accenture is proud to equip our youth to be ready for professions that might not even exist," says Mngxati.

"We are committed to doing more to create opportunities and impact lives, and to drive meaningful and sustainable change in South Africa. We will continue to work hard to meet and exceed South Africa’s B-BBEE and diversity goals and build on the successes of our empowerment and skills development programmes. With your continued support, I believe Accenture is well positioned to retain its Level 1 status in FY20," concludes Mngxati.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Contact:

Jonathan Mahapa
Accenture
+27 11 208 3947
jonathan.mahapa@accenture.com

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