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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

T-Systems South Africa

Why does corporate responsibility matter to our company?

Gert Schoonbee, Managing Director, T-Systems South Africa

T-Systems is dedicated to sustainable and ongoing transformation. It has embarked on a journey to develop local suppliers with a specific focus on black women and black youth. As part of our nation-building journey, we also want to create a culture that incorporates all elements of diversity, including disability, gender, age, culture, and religion. Embracing our differences will ultimately enable us to ignite innovation, strengthen trust in relationships, and create a high-performance culture and team. The recognition we have achieved with several awards is an accolade to the commitment of the entire T-Systems organization toward inclusivity and diversity. Our dedication is also reflected by our membership as co-founders of the local chapter of the 30% Club, an initiative that aims to improve representation of women on boards.

Gert Schoonbee, Managing Director, T-Systems South Africa


By publishing this report, T-Systems South Africa strives to present its sustainability activities and related achievements in an integrated format, while making the group’s environmental, social and business operations transparent. In 2016-2017, we continued to pursue sustainability activities and along the way have learned and consequently reshaped the structure of this report.

There are challenges in any ordinary context of conducting business but alongside these challenges is the requirement for business to be conducted in line with good corporate citizenship. 2016 was an exciting year in the realm of Corporate Governance for South Africa. We welcomed the revised King IV Report on Corporate Governance, which brought ethics as a standalone topic into more focus.

Aligned to this, the leadership of the organization was invited to attend an Ethics workshop hosted by Dr. Leon van Vuuren, Executive Director: for Ethics SA, to which the organization subscribes membership. The TSSA team made it interesting by bringing various perspectives and thoughts that were current and relevant to TSSA business. They owned it and early in the conversations were aligning ethics to risks and sustainability with compliance taken as a given.

It gives me great pleasure to present the T-Systems South Africa Sustainability Report and I look forward to future activity as the Chairperson of the Social and Ethics Committee.

Getty Simelane, Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of the Social and Ethics Committee, T-Systems South Africa


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Awards and Memberships

T-Systems in South Africa has once again received multiple honors for the programs geared toward youth, most notable of which is for our ICT img Academy which was awarded the following in 2017

  • CompTIA- CAPP Academic Partner of the Year Award
  • CompTIA- Workforce Development Academic Partner of the Year Award
  • CompTIA- Outstanding Leader Award

Nelson Mandela Children´s Hospital to get SAP solution within the next five years

As part of our commitment to transforming South Africa with ICT img that works, with innovation and strengthening our local economy, we will provide SAP solutions to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg. The project runs for five years and is based on a EUR 3 million contract. The end-to-end solutions are based on an SAP Partner Managed Cloud Model that combines a range of different SAP services and will help to significantly improve the processes in the hospital and the care of children in South Africa’s largest city.

Zithobe – Humble Yourself

Zithobe means humble yourself. The program was launched by T-Systems in 2015 and its purpose is to allow employees to give their time to vulnerable people. Employees can take an extra day off to do volunteering work with the charities they are involved in.

In 2016, we made a commitment to continue and expand our support for an underprivileged school in the Thembisa township of Johannesburg. The aim was to ensure better access to the mainstream economy for children attending the school. After planting a vegetable and fruit garden, we provided them with stationary and school bags in 2017, since most of the children didn’t have their own stationery.

T-Systems South Africa also donated a soccer kit to a township-based school in Cape Town with the added commitment to build a soccer pitch for the same school in 2017.

Lastly, our colleagues from the CSI team challenged us to collect 475 kg bottle tops by the end of November. If we succeeded in achieving this target they promised to donate a second wheelchair in support of disability month. Considering that 13 “doppies” are needed for the scale to register, it was quite a challenge to collect 475 kg, but we managed it successfully. As a result, we have donated two wheelchairs – one in Cape Town and another one in Gauteng.

Branding and Sponsorship

As part of our rebranding and sponsoring efforts, T-Systems South Africa was very critical and selective in choosing a brand ambassador. The requirements were to find an ambassador who in the ordinary course of their career, lived and espoused the T-Systems Value Guiding Principles, and was representative of the Nation Building aspirations of the company. It is not at all surprising that the brand ambassador was none other than locally grown Olympic Champion and World Record Holder, Wayde van Niekerk. 

T-Systems South Africa, together with local athletics hero and 400m World Record Holder, Wayde van Niekerk, launched the Wayde Dreamer Foundation at a Gala dinner held in van Niekerk’s honor on 21 October 2016, in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Wayde Dreamer Foundation is the brainchild of van Niekerk and is aimed at setting up initiatives throughout South Africa that will empower and support young people to achieve their dreams by leveraging their talents. Although athletics is a natural focus, the Foundation seeks to benefit young people with a vast segment of talents. The overarching philosophy of the Wayde Dreamer Foundation is based on the integration of physical health, mental strength, and spiritual balance, and the use of these elements to nurture talent.

T-Systems South Africa formally pledged its support for the Wayde Dreamer Foundation at the Gala event and honored Wayde by unveiling the brand and logo for the Foundation. T-Systems’ support and involvement in The Wayde Dreamer Foundation forms yet another facet to the company’s ‘Nation Building’ strategy, along with several other projects that contribute positively toward growing South Africa for the benefit of South Africa. Not only is T-Systems behind ICT img projects which aid and enrich South Africa’s economy and productivity, it is also an active participant in transformative change and educational initiatives, among others.

We are incredibly proud to be associated with an athlete whose achievements and goals are so aligned with our own.  The Wayde Dreamer Foundation echoes our belief about investing in the youth of our country and in being in South Africa for South Africa. It is a natural progression of our Nation Building to back this initiative and throw our weight behind its inception.

Wayde believes that a holistic approach based on strength of the body and the mind, as well as spiritual grounding, have been instrumental to his success, and he wants to share that insight with other young people so that they can achieve their own dreams too.

Wayde van Niekerk of the Foundation: “T-Systems has provided me with the platform on which to develop my own passion and dream. Together, we aim to do the same for South Africa’s youth, encouraging dreams, identifying talent and developing them into actuality”.

Youth in T-Systems

T-Systems established an internal Internship Program in 2006, to assist graduates with work experience. The Internship Program, registered with MICT Seta, is a one-year structured program comprising 95% practical training with the balance being complimented by mentoring, life skills, and technical training.

Every year, the program offers interns an opportunity to get international exposure through a 5 to 6-week International Exchange Program. To date, over 700 interns have participated in the program, with a placement rate of 75%.  However, 2015 boasted a 96% placement rate, of which 80% are employed within T Systems.

Not only do the interns receive valuable practical experience, they also receive soft skills training in the following areas:  Twelve modules are covered during the internship contract period: World of Work, Communications, Customer Service, Self Awareness & Personal Branding, Conflict & Diversity Management, Personal Finances, Presentations & Assertiveness, Business Writing and Job Readiness.

2013 1ST Place in the Diversity Awards (Leadership in the Field of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion)
2014 Gender Mainstreaming Award for female youth
2015 CompTIA Largest Academic Partner in Africa
Gender Mainstreaming Award for initiatives for introduction of Disabled Youth Programs
2016 Cisco Networking Academy: Instructor recognition Award
  • CompTIA - CAPP Academic Partner of the Year
  • CompTIA - Workforce Development Academic Partner of the Year
  • CompTIA - Outstanding Leader award

Ans Botha Learnership

T-Systems South Africa, digital transformation specialist and technology partner to Olympian and 400m World Record holder – Wayde van Niekerk, is putting its weight behind sustainable job creation for young people living with disabilities in South Africa through the Anna Botha Learnership program.  This program, which comes as part of T-System’s ongoing Nation Building and CSI initiative, is named in honor of Anna “Tannie Ans” Botha, Wayde’s coach and mentor.

T-Systems has launched the Anna Botha Learnership Program in conjunction with the Wayde Dreamer Foundation, a collaborative initiative between T-Systems and Wayde van Niekerk which seeks to uplift the youth of South Africa. The program is aimed specifically at young people living with disabilities and learning difficulties. It underpins Botha’s support for the Foundation’s drive to give something back to those who don’t often get the opportunity to better their disabilities. Eleven candidates are accepted into the program as part of the initial trial period. Each candidate will graduate with a NQF4 qualification in Information and Communication Technology Literacy and their A+ certification, which will enable them to find suitable employment within the IT field.

Gert Schoonbee, MD at T-Systems South Africa commented: “There is a lack of sustainable job creation programs which cater specifically for young people living with disabilities in South Africa. Together with Tannie Ans, who is passionate about giving back to the community in a meaningful manner, we decided to address this gap and where better to start than by opening up opportunities within our existing learnership programs”.

The students will undergo full training and certification examinations and will emerge from the process with a qualification which will enable them to find work in any IT help desk call center or as a field technician, among other potential possibilities.  Finding employment is particularly challenging for individuals living with disabilities not because they are incapable, but because they are often denied the opportunities that are made available to their able-bodied counterparts.

Communication without Boundaries - CSR Customer Partnership

ESKOM, T-Systems and CBX provide Wi-Fi network and access point installation to Lephalale TVET College
The social media #DataMustFall outcry shone a spotlight on the high costs of internet access in South Africa. This further raised eyebrows considering that a majority of data consumers are young people still at school or at tertiary institutions of education.

T-Systems, in partnership with CBX, recently set up infrastructure at Lephalale TVET College and rolled out free Wi-Fi for use by both learners and staff. This comes after Eskom - Medupi requested its partners to activate CSI initiatives around the power station.

Students at the college were ecstatic when they found out that the use of the Wi-Fi extends to personal and academic. And with coverage spilling out, albeit in limited capacity, to outside the college grounds the benefits are stretched to well beyond the classroom into the surrounding community.

IT Manager at Lephalale TVET College, Mashoahle Chabedi, showed great appreciation toward the project. “I would like to say many thanks to the iron-man team from T-Systems and CBX for completing such an immense task in two days giving Lephalale TVET College a campus-wide free Wi-Fi for both students and staff… absolute professionals”, he said. The equally happy college headmaster, Lekau Mamabolo quipped, “bandwidth poverty is a thing of the past at Lephalale TVET, thanks to MLI/ESKOM and T-Systems for the job well done”.

The Wi-Fi rollout is not the end of the story since as part of the broader CSI project T-Systems had committed to assist Lephalale TVET College with a backup system as well. For now, the Lephalale TVET college community does not need to worry about the rising cost of data, all thanks to ESKOM, T-Systems and the partners.

Communication without Boundaries – Rural Service Desk

Five years ago, T-Systems partnered with the Good Work Foundation to establish the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus (HDLC) in Hazyview, Mpumalanga. A campus of excellence in rural Mpumalanga, the HDLC is a place where young people can access training in IT skills to become positively contributing members of their communities. In pursuit of sustainability for this collaborative venture, a point of contact service desk has recently been added to the HDLC.

The service desk will initially handle T-Systems’ Level 1 service issues internally, with a view to adding Level 2 client-facing services later in 2017. It speaks to our goals of skills development, job creation, as well as supplier development and localization.

“Hazyview is an area that has a population of about 8 million people of which at least 57% is unemployed. Job opportunities in the region are scarce, and those people who do have skills are often forced to seek employment in cities. Rather than losing these skilled resources, we looked toward creating employment opportunities for them in their own area. Now, once the individuals have been trained at the HDLC, they have the opportunity to work at our service desk in Hazyview, and the region can leverage off a growing skillset to work toward reducing unemployment in the area.

T-Systems sponsored the technology infrastructure and established the network connectivity to link the Midrand and Hazyview contact centers so that the service desk at Hazyview can handle all incoming calls routed from Midrand. The contact center in Hazyview is a fully-equipped service desk, with ten PCs, phones, and all the necessary equipment. The contact center is serviced by individuals who have received the technical foundation necessary to work in a call center at the HDLC, as well as the development of other working skills.

The plan for 2017 is to offer Level 2 support, which covers basic desktop and server support queries, through the call center,” notes Sibusiso Shabangu Head of Partner Management.  “Ultimately, all T-Systems clients will have access to this support center. T-Systems itself is the contact center’s first client, and whenever there is an internal query logged, it is routed to the HDLC. Soon we’ll start piloting clients to move over to the Hazyview support desk. So far, we already have two clients working successfully with the newly established help desk and we can’t wait to on-board more,” Shabangu concludes.

Key facts at a glance

Markets, business Areas and market share   ICT img outsource and custom solutions: Market share: 5% overall
Number of customers   157
Number of employees   1,253
Shareholding of Deutsche Telekom AG since   Launched TSSA in 2000
Certifications   ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BS OHSAS 18001 img, ISO 20000 and ISO 27001
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