Aligned to the BVSA strong social awareness ethos, the Ithemba Trust is focused on empowering women from previously disadvantaged backgrounds with a focus on education of young black women in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

After graduation, the company will absorb the young ladies into the business and upskill them with soft skills on work readiness. Enterprise development assistance will be provided to those that wish to launch their own businesses and work will be subcontracted to them to ensure they can sustain their businesses and achieve success. The Trust will focus on beneficiaries hailing from areas in which BVSA employees live and work.

BVSA Hennie KnightDistrict Legal Counsel for Bureau Veritas Southern and Eastern Africa, Hennie Knight, says: “Bureau Veritas has many long-established programmes investing in people and skills, training, socio-economic investments and procurement; so it is a natural transition for us to partner with The Ithemba Trust.

“The beneficiaries will include young black females who will ultimately grow and develop in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Furthermore, we are proud to announce that our journey has culminated in us being recognised 51% black-owned as well as 30% black female-owned.”

The independent Trustees include Messrs Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame and Zwelakhe Onwell Msomi, long-standing members of the South African business communities and highly respected and passionate about education and the transformation of women. The Trustees have enjoyed leadership roles in local and international corporates and the education sector; bringing a powerful combined experience set to the Trust. They have also been heavily involved in non-profit organisations and charities on both local and global scales.

BVSA Sal GovenderSays Bureau Veritas VP for the southern African Region, Sal Govender: “BVSA is committed to the region and continues to support local legislation. We are proud to have launched the Ithemba Trust and to make a difference in our society by empowering females within the STEM disciplines through education and enterprise development.

“We are creating a sustainable empowerment programme for women that will continue to create legacies and ultimately build a nation. We are poised to improve the lives of women, the backbone of society. It is our vision for South Africa to constantly exceed our client expectations through world class professionalism from a diverse and highly motivated team.”

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