CENTURION, Gauteng – 1 December 2021 – DFA announced that its shareholders had made notable progress in increasing its black ownership, helping it to achieve a Level 1 B-BBEE rating following its latest audit.
Bolstered by 45% ownership by historically disadvantaged individuals, the rating bears witness to the CIVH group’s ongoing efforts to lead transformation in the ICT-infrastructure sector. DFA CEO, Andries Delport, said that, while DFA has always focused on empowering historically disadvantaged individuals and groups through its employment practices and enterprise- and supplier-development programmes, ownership was one of the best ways to create opportunities for true, sustainable participation in the sector.
Delport pointed out that the South African government recently highlighted the need for ownership by historically disadvantaged groups, while the Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA) announced a revised set of codes for the ICT sector with a focus on increasing equity ownership for the historically disadvantaged. CIVH has made this kind of transformation a priority, and we are proud of the headway thus far,’ says Delport.
The ownership changes included a renewed emphasis on the inclusion of black women and black youth as well as identifying opportunities to participate in the country’s economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. Other areas that boosted DFA’s rating were enterprise and supplier development and socioeconomic development for which the scorecard reflects full marks.
A major area that DFA has had to address is the shortage of skills. ‘In a sector like ours, skills have proved to be a barrier to entry for those who have not previously participated in it. The company sponsored 22 learners on the YES programme, aimed at providing learnerships to historically disadvantaged youth, as one of its skills-development initiatives. ‘DFA has invested significant time and resources in improving its rating – this included a robust supplier-development programme and youth-development initiatives. Through our enterprise supplier-development programme, for example, we identified black woman and youth-owned SMMEs that we could empower from a skills perspective to deliver the services we required,’ explained Delport. He added that DFA would continue to go beyond meeting the minimum B-BBEE requirements. ‘The ICT sector is becoming an increasingly vital one, and we believe that all South Africans should have the opportunity to be a part of it. At DFA we’re committed to doing all we can to ensure that we not only see transformation in the company but also contribute significantly to transformation in the sector as a whole.’
DFA is the premier wholesale, open-access fibre-infrastructure and -connectivity provider in South Africa. We finance, build, install, manage, and maintain a world-class fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic. We started rolling out our fibre network in 2007, and to date, we have deployed over 13,000 km of ducting infrastructure in major metros, secondary cities, and smaller towns. Our network runs with an industry-leading uptime of 99.98%. We lease our secure transmission and backbone fibre infrastructure and provide associated connectivity services to telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, media conglomerates, tertiary education institutions, municipalities, government organizations, and other businesses, large and small, on equal terms. DFA is a Level 3 B-BBEE Contributor on the ICT Sector Codes.