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T-Systems debuts supplier development initiative

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T-Systems in SA unveiled the first phase of its Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) initiative at an event in Witbank yesterday.

This first step of the programme, which is intended to promote skills development and job creation, involves outsourcing field services in the Mpumalanga region to Nkgwete IT Solutions, a majority black-female-owned company.

"Enterprise and supplier development are high on the national agenda, with the development of local companies and local skills seen as critical in building the economic future of our country. T-Systems is addressing this challenge head-on, embarking on our own journey in support of ESD in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan 2030, as part of our vision to become a significant contributor to growth in South Africa," said Gert Schoonbee, MD of T-Systems in SA. "The launch of our first initiative on this journey is an exciting time for us, and we believe the success of this venture will enable us to launch future ESD initiatives based on this model."

T-Systems' ESD initiative invited eligible parties to submit proposals at the end of last year, and Nkgwete IT Solutions was chosen from 11 contenders.

Eskom is one of several companies that will work with Nkgwete as a result of the T-Systems project. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch event, Eskom's CIO, Sal Laher, said the programme complements Eskom's localisation drive. "This project plays to the national IT industry transformation agenda in this country. This type of initiative allows for black people to develop and grow within the IT sector."

Speaking at the event, director of delivery of T-Systems International, Ferri Abolhassan, stressed that, while the initiative is backed by the international company, it is about SA and Africa. Describing T-Systems as an elephant of a company, with a workforce in excess of 40 000, Abolhassan called on Nkgwete to become an elephant itself, with the ultimate hope that it will find itself in a position to promote its own similar initiatives one day.

Nkgwete IT Solutions MD Siddika Osman expressed her gratitude to T-Systems for the opportunity. "We see this as a prospect to make an impact on the ICT sector in Mpumalanga and contribute towards job creation and development in our province," she said.

"This really is a first for us," said Schoonbee, adding that the plan is to roll out the initiative to other regions in the near future.

"We are excited to begin our journey working with Nkgwete IT Solutions and we are dedicated to ensuring the continued success of this first initiative in Mpumalanga," he concluded. "We look forward to taking our ESD model into other provinces in South Africa in the future."

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