Dell sets up training academy in BEE move

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Computer making giant Dell has established a multi-million rands ICT training academy in South Africa, Johannesburg, in a move that fulfils part of the country’s black economic empowerment (BEE).

Located in Bryanston, north of Johannesburg, Dell’s Khulisa Academy is designed to focus on developing leading high performance computing (HPC) skills, complemented by business management and entrepreneurial and life skills.

The academy was approved as an equity investment programmes (EEIP) by the department of trade and industry. EEIP is a principle in the BEE codes of good practice which was inserted to accommodate multinationals who cannot facilitate black ownership.

Dell joins seven other multinationals who have chosen the EEIP avenue rather than part with equity. These include firms like Microsoft and IBM. The DTI says the EEIPs have generated investment of about R1bn.

Speaking at the launch of Dell’s Khulisa Academy, Deputy Director-General of Incentives Administration at the DTI Malebo Mabitje-Thompson said “Today’s event marks another milestone for the evolution of the BBBEE policy and in particular the EEIP.

“We are glad that we are launching the seventh B-BBEE equity equivalent project in the history of B-BBEE that will be running for the next ten years.”

She added that out of the seven approved Equity Equivalent projects to date, four of them were in the (ICT) sector. She emphasised that it was evident that the ICT sector was important and has a potential to put the country on a global map in terms of technological advancement.

According to Mabitje-Thompson, the EEIP programme was created to enable multinationals that are willing to participate and contribute positively towards BEE to do so under the ownership element.

The managing director of Dell Enterprise Solutions Group, Mr Stewart van Graan, said the academy would focus on developing leading high performance computing (HPC) skills, complemented by business management and entrepreneurial and life skills.

Van Graan added that “Dell’s history of transformation is aligned to the B-BBEE codes of good practice and the organisation’s holistic approach to all elements of the codes has had a meaningful impact on the lives of many in South Africa. Secondly, a strategic partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and particularly the Centre for High Performance Computing, has provided a proven track record of the impact that technology has on the lives of the youth in South Africa.”

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