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Cell C has announced that it has achieved level 1 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor status.

“We achieved this milestone through a focused transformation strategy that was premised on delivering meaningful empowerment and going beyond compliance,” Cell C said.

This announcement comes during a time when Cell C is facing severe challenges, which include not being able to pay its bills and having to fire staff.

Over the last three years, Cell C has defaulted on its debt repayments, and the company’s debt has been downgraded to “D”, or “default” by S&P Global Ratings. It is the lowest grade possible.

Its dismal financial situation has also forced the mobile operator to close a large number of stores and retrench many employees.

It is also not paying all its suppliers. MTN, for example, highlighted that Cell C still owes it R236 million for roaming on its network.

However, these challenges did not deter Cell C from ensuring its transformation strategy is a top priority for the operator.

Juba Mashaba, chief human resources officer at Cell C, said they diligently review their transformation strategy each year to make meaningful progress.

The review includes clear guidelines for each of the five pillars in the B-BBEE scorecard.

“Through our empowerment initiatives, we are making a meaningful contribution to many of our stakeholders while ensuring the long-term stability and profitability of our business,” Mashaba said.

There were many highlights for Cell C related to its transformation and BEE initiatives, including:

  • Cell C increased its investment in learning programmes for employed and unemployed youth, black, and disabled communities by 204.2%.

  • Cell C has launched a middle management development programme (MDP) in partnership with GIBS Business School, prioritising black and female participants.

  • Cell C has increased the number of new black enterprises, black empowered enterprises, and black-engendered enterprises in its procurement process by 12.4%.

  • Cell C has commenced its programme of establishing technology labs in rural and township schools.

  • Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day will now include boys to “holistically address gender equality”.

“Achieving B-BBEE level one is testament to Cell C’s positive and sustainable contribution to the growth and economic well-being of previously disadvantaged South Africans,” said Mashaba.

We will continue to positively impact the environments in which we operate as we firmly believe that thriving and socially cohesive communities are important for sustainable business operations,” concludes Mashaba.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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