“Umntu Ngumntu Nga Bantu” – The Nguni proverb that embodies the core value of ubuntu aptly describes PwC’s transformation journey over the past 24 years.
Over the years PwC has accompanied many employees on their dynamic career journeys. Two notable examples are Shirley Machaba and Dion Shango, who both started their careers with a PwC bursary and worked their way to becoming partners in the firm. Today they are the South Africa CEO and Africa CEO respectively. The full journey at PwC not only equips our employees for partnership, but also adds value to the wider South African economy. To date a number of our alumni partners hold board and executive positions in both private and public sector companies.
PwC’s impact supersedes ticking corporate boxes and fulfilling policy codes; we’re invested in redressing the inequality inherent in South African society. In setting a high standard for people from all backgrounds in corporate South Africa, we’ve consistently worked towards meaningful empowerment by nurturing competent and accountable executives. Our contributions have been recognised by the Oliver Empowerment Awards, winning Africa’s Transformation Award, and being recognised with a Top Gender Empowered Company award at the Standard Bank Top Women Awards.
Our holistic contributions are informed by the need for genuine transformation in the business landscape, and enabling meaningful economic participation. We strive to advance professionals who would typically be excluded based on factors such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Since 1994, responsible corporate citizenry has been recognised as an important component of redressing inequality. A pivotal avenue of empowerment for women in urban and rural areas has been the pursuit of entrepreneurship, community development and education. With business, we focus on upskilling women and people of colour in business, with the intent to expand transformational economic empowerment outside of PwC.
“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson
Entrepreneurship is the road less travelled due to its challenging nature and the systemic challenges that may contribute to failure. Our Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme provides support to the business to enable growth, success and stability even in the face of economic crisis. We’ve boosted entrepreneurs with financial and technical support and continue to play a role in achieving economic liberation for people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. At the core of business success is competency, and we’ve developed strategies to address business growth challenges and propel businesses forward.
Success story - Molemo Business Consulting (Pty) Limited
Nomsa Mokehele is an entrepreneur all too familiar with the woes of starting a business in the township, so she established Molemo Business Consulting (Pty) Limited (MBC). MBC empowers SMEs and township entrepreneurs with the tools to meaningfully participate in the economy. Mokhele’s approach gives township-based businesses the opportunity to gain new skills, access vast resources, and reach a wider audience.
The empowerment of township businesses directly impacts the wellbeing of family units and ensures that sustainable businesses are created outside of monopolistic structures. Instead of disappearing into crisis, MBC ensures businesses thrive through acceleration and advancement.
PwC has supported MBC over the past year to reach numerous entrepreneurs and offered services in mentorship, business design guidance and an initial revenue pipeline for businesses to test their service offerings. The youth is also a focal point for MBC, enabling young entrepreneurs to hone their skills early in their journey.
“I became pleasantly surprised as time went by when what I was actually receiving was strategic guidance - to move me towards creating a sustainable business - as well as mentoring and coaching - which eliminated the loneliness of decision-making experienced as the owner and manager of a small business.” Nomsa Mokehele
In addition, the programme has allowed her immense growth as a business person and individual. Through rigorous training and regular check-in sessions with PwC she’s become determined to succeed. At the age of 30, Mokhele is the Non-Executive Director of an NPO.
The Business Skills for South Africa Foundation Trust
In 1992, PwC and the National Industrial Chamber established the Business Skills for South Africa (BSSA) Foundation to provide business and entrepreneurial skills to previously disadvantaged communities.
Understanding that SMMEs are the heartbeat of the economy, through the BSSA Foundation we continue to provide business and entrepreneurial skills to previously disadvantaged communities, the majority being female. To date, we have successfully trained and impacted over 67000 SMMEs who are running profitable businesses and creating sustainable jobs.
myCFO Pty. Limited
myCFO empowers SMEs and start-ups, enabling them to engage in major business deals and gain recognition in corporate South Africa. The initiative upskills SMEs and start-ups in financial management and offers strategies to ensure sustainability and longevity. PwC has offered continued support to the initiative and ensured its growth. myCFO addresses a key concern in business sustainability in South Africa, offering mentorship, coaching and business design support. PwC also supports incubators initiated by myCFO by extending incubator offerings.
Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative
In response to Government’s focus on skills development and addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment challenges, in 2006 PwC created an initiative to empower rural women from previously disadvantaged communities with business and entrepreneurship skills through a project called the Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative. Faranani means ‘working together’ or ‘teamwork’, and is aligned to one of our core values. PwC Southern Africa CEO Shirley Machaba is a founding member and national director of the initiative, which aims to unlock the business potential of rural women, and empower them to generate their own income and become meaningful contributors to the South African economy.
Our Faranani Rural Women Training initiative has been successfully rolled out throughout the country. We are proud to share that 68% of women who have participated in this programme have been able to increase the profitability of their businesses, and have created sustainable jobs.The programme has benefited women from many South African townships and villages and continues to make a positive impact on the upliftment of women.
Education has played an important role in PwC’s transformation journey, ultimately positioning youth from disenfranchised communities to gain equal opportunity. We’ve developed powerful partnerships with township and rural schools alongside the Department of Education. The tools provided in each educational programme position young people to not only pursue their dreams, but to have the know-how of the steps to take along their journey.
Skilled for the Future
We’re passionate about offering young people avenues to pursue their dreams through our Skilled for the Future programme. In partnership with the Department of Education, we initiated the programme to empower aspirant youth from township and rural areas. The programme focuses on pairing high-performing learners with PwC mentors, who help them navigate strategies to reach their dreams, and offer sound career guidance and mentorship. Beyond upskilling selected learners, we hope the culture of mentorship grows and becomes central to empowerment.
Skilled for the Future success stories
Thandi, an aspiring pastry chef, is a young girl who felt pressure to drop out of school due to unfortunate circumstances at home, despite her remarkable progress. Thandi’s mother passed away and with her grandmother supporting her and her younger sister, she felt hopeless. Thankfully, she connected with a PwC mentor before dropping out and gained a wealth of resources that will offset her future path into the culinary arts. More than ever, she is encouraged to stay in school, complete her education and pursue further education.
Khulile, a shy but aspirant data analyst, learned that there is plenty of space for introverts in society. Together with his PwC mentor, he found ways to navigate a world full of possibilities. His connection with his mentor enabled him to recognise his talents, identify his goals and decide on a path he’d pursue.
PwC Disabled Youth Learnership Initiative
In 2019 PwC invested in the learning paths of 60 disabled black South African youths to enable them to access opportunities in an otherwise inaccessible world. We employed the services of Skills Panda to roll out a 12-month ICT learnership programme, and funded the learners’ tuition and stipends for the duration. Following the successful implementation of the 2019 pilot, we held a successful second programme in September 2020.
Beyond simple corporate social investment, we’re well-positioned to understand the needs of people from vulnerable communities. Our programmes are well-researched and grounded in love and respect for humanity and the hard work people put in to raise their families and put bread on the table. Above all, we hope these initiatives give the vulnerable among us room to fulfil dreams of empowerment and a brighter future.
Faranani Rural Women Training Initiative
PwC is committed to the upliftment of women in South Africa and firmly believes that by fostering a culture of entrepreneurship amongst women, it can help to empower them to generate their own income and become meaningful contributors to the South African economy. Our Faranani programme trains rural women in practical business skills such as developing a business plan, pricing and costing, financial management, and marketing. Aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills, this programme looks to support women who have the drive and desire to become business owners by providing them with the necessary know-how to get started - moving from survival to SMME status.
PwC is committed to transformation and recognises that transformation is not about numbers but about meaningful development of our people.