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Establishing and maintaining a sustainable transformation journey

SMEC South Africa is a multidisciplinary engineering consulting and infrastructure advisory firm that has been delivering outstanding infrastructure solutions for over 70 years. As a progressive company that delivers engineering excellence, design innovation and advisory services to clients in South Africa and across the African continent, SMEC has established an excellent reputation for high quality, value engineering, sustainable solutions and robust innovations in all sectors of engineering.

One of the legacies of South Africa’s apartheid regime is that it created one of the most unequal distributions of wealth between Black and White people in the world. With this came unequal education and skills levels, the under-development of Black and rural communities, as well as a huge cultural divide between racial and ethnic groups within our society.  This is evidenced by the makeup of many senior and decision-making structures within corporate South Africa and the prevailing perception of bias.

“SMEC South Africa supports and actively promotes government’s objectives to enhance the economic participation of black South Africans in the economy”, states Bongani Mthombeni-Möller, Strategic Business Development Executive. “We have dedicated all our efforts in ensuring that we practice tangible transformation at SMEC. We adopted a Transformation charter in 2016 to help streamline our efforts, and to focus our business towards the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals through compliance with the country’s BBBEE Act. Our in-house BBBEE committee works continuously to ensure that our firm complies with the requirements stipulated in the Construction Sector Codes (CSC). What I cannot emphasise enough, is that SMEC is not a firm that simply aims to tick the boxes. Transformation is a journey and a core focus of our business – we have consistently and sustainably improved our transformation profile in addition to ensuring technical excellence and delivery. I’m proud to be part of the SMEC family.“

SMEC South Africa has maintained a Level 1 BBBEE status by being systematic, agile and prepared. SMEC is majority black owned (63%) with a board and executive management composition that is predominantly black. “Our management is committed to achieving our employment equity targets without compromising on our ability to deliver technical excellence. Through skills transfer, skills development and mentorship we ensure that technical skills are passed on from experts to their younger counterparts. This ensures that we cultivate a workforce of black professionals that are deployed to and exposed to the iconic flagship projects that we work on”, says Bongani.

SMEC South Africa supports and works with a network of empowered emerging enterprises that are equally committed to delivering technical excellence. In this way, emerging firms are exposed to a number of areas in which they can develop. SMEC South Africa actively assists companies to grow in size, to grow in their ability to tackle large projects, and to grow in their ability to stand on their own. In that way, empowerment is measurable and meaningful.

“We are a large firm. We want to remain a large firm so that we have the capacity to:

  • mentor and develop emerging enterprises,

  • upskill and develop our young professionals, and

  • deliver on our infrastructure projects. 

We commit to continue playing our part in assisting government to meet its objectives”, concludes Bongani Mthombeni-Möller.