Embracing the spirit of Nelson Mandela’s legacy is more than a 67-minute project on Mandela Day for WorleyParsons. It forms an integral component of the project delivery company’s daily corporate philosophy, from contributing to its own communities, to delivering customer projects that make a significant positive impact to the communities in which it operates.
“Our role as an engineering consultant in a rapidly changing resources and energy market is vitally important as we not only help our customers solve complex energy and resources problems, but are also a partner in delivering sustained economic and social progress, creating opportunities for individuals, companies and communities to find and realise their own futures,” says WorleyParsons RSA’s CEO Denver Dreyer.
The company’s corporate social responsibility philosophy espouses the concept of ‘active citizenry’ and sees issues such as socio-economic development and transformation as a constant opportunity to redefine and position itself for success that is built around its people and the environment it operates in.
In South Africa, transformation is often driven by compliance considerations; a case of just ticking the boxes, says Dreyer. WorleyParsons, however, sees transformation as an important catalyst to address the country’s socio-economic triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty.
“This philosophy is embedded into our DNA and we are fully committed to developing structures and systems that actively contribute to this vision, as well as create mutually beneficial partnerships that fulfil our transformation goals, while aligning with the overarching transformation goals of the country,” continues Dreyer.
Pivotal to WorleyParsons’ corporate and social responsibility agenda is its Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme, which calls for active participation in addressing socio-economic challenges in South Africa as well as much-needed transformation in the engineering sector by partnering with independent, sustainable, small-scale black-owned businesses to jointly deliver engineering services in the minerals & metals, hydrocarbons, power, chemicals and infrastructure sectors of South Africa.
Currently in its sixth year, the growing ESD Programme provides mentoring, support, skills transfer, knowledge transfer, multinational brand leverage and partnership for a number of young local businesses throughout the region, across three levels. These are:
Core Partners – companies seeking the assistance of an enterprise incubator programme, as well as the growth potential through partnership with WorleyParsons.
Extended Partners – companies established in their own right and seeking to partner with WorleyParsons to execute major projects.
Alumni Partners – companies that have graduated from the WorleyParsons ED Programme and continue to work closely with WorleyParsons in seeking work and project execution.
In addition, these companies benefit from WorleyParsons’ annual Enterprise and Supplier Grow Conference giving ESD partner companies the opportunity to showcase their capabilities to major clients. The platform also allows for ESD companies to meet other small to medium enterprises that are not part of the WorleyParsons ESD programme.
In this way WorleyParsons not only broadens their own client network through ESD companies but extends the same opportunity to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ESD companies also attend monthly meetings, where pursuits are tracked and new opportunities brought to the table.
“SMEs are integral in the development and transformation of South Africa and while WorleyParsons is part of a global company, we are still proudly local and have a legacy of empowering and building our partners,” says Dreyer. “We recognise that SMEs can be key drivers of economic growth and we’re constantly looking at ways we can assist in helping these businesses to grow.”
Further support is provided to ESDs from companies such as Leap and Signa. Leap works closely with the ESDs on a day-to-day basis, providing mentorship and support, while the Signa Group is an advisory practice that specialises in transformation, empowerment and growth through training, job creation, infrastructure development and new business generation.
Gladwin Mfolo, WorleyParsons Senior Project Manager, says that WorleyParsons has partnered with Signa to deliver a learnership programme to 45 disabled learners. “With sponsorship from WorleyParsons, the learners are now entering their third year of the programme which will increase their future employability by 100% and their chances of securing a job by 80%,” says Mfolo. ESDs can employ the services of these students at no added cost as they receive a stipend as part of WorleyParsons’ sponsorship.
“In this way we start linking all our corporate social responsibility programmes together and ensure real benefit and value in the process,” says Mfolo.
The company’s corporate social responsibility commitments extend to acknowledging the communities in which it operates, such as the Venetia Diamond Mine Project where WorleyParsons, together with De Beers, have awarded bursaries to students from the local community to the combined value of R1,2 million. Over the next four years, WorleyParsons will continue to support the community with other CSR projects which are currently being finalised.
WorleyParsons’ call to action on Mandela Day on 18 July will focus on addressing poverty and inspiring sustainable change. To this end, the company is collecting funds to purchase blankets and non-perishable goods for the underprivileged as well as collecting various other donations. Staff will also be encouraged to give of their time to help the less fortunate through serving meals and making sandwiches. In addition, WorleyParsons will be funding the purchase of a wheelchair for a disabled five-year-old boy.