South Africa and the Republic of Korea is commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties and Samsung has been part of the government discussions on continued bilateral relations between the two countries and other strategic partnership agreements.
These engagements of strategic partners are a follow-up to the initial discussions in August that the global CEO of Samsung, Mr. Jong-Hee Han had during his recent visit in South Africa – where he met with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr. Ebrahim Patel as well as the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Dr Naledi Pandor. Mr Han’s visit focused on the company’s long-standing partnership, its long-term vision and continued collaboration with the South African government and possible future opportunities for growth and further investment.
Also, as part of Mr. Han’s discussions with the South African government in the August visit was South Korea’s Busan World Expo 2030 bid with both Ministers with the view of getting support locally for the bid. Importantly, World Expo’s are focused on creating a better future for all humankind and therefore fit perfectly into Samsung’s vision for the upliftment of humanity through technology and innovation. Samsung believes the World Expo being hosted in Busan during the 2030 edition would be the perfect platform to share its technological advancements and how it views technology as the main catalyst for an eco-friendly and green future in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in South Africa, the Korea-Africa Foundation (KAF) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) recently hosted a seminar commemorating the 30-year milestone of diplomatic relations and trade agreements between the Republic of Korea and South Africa. In this seminar, Ambassador Ms. Ntombizodwa M Lallie, Deputy Director General at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation for South Africa (DIRCO) delivered congratulatory remarks where she acknowledged and emphasized the importance of honouring the obligations made – referring to the recent meeting between Samsung’s global CEO, DIRCO and DTIC Ministers on Samsung’s commitment and ambitions in contributing to South Africa’s economic transformation and prosperity.
On 12 October 2022, Minster Pandor paid a courtesy visit to the Samsung Headquarters in South Korea during her official visit to South Korea to mark the 30-year anniversary of diplomatic ties. This time she met Samsung Electronics President, Mr. Rhee In-yong and had further discussions in an effort to continue strengthening the existing strategic partnership.
Samsung has acknowledged the importance of the long-standing relationship and the critical role that Minister Pandor, who was previously the Minister of Education and most importantly, the Minister of Science and Technology – has played in strengthening the strategic partnership between the company and the South African government. The Minister’s track record and experience in these key government departments aligns perfectly with Samsung’s agenda around Education and Technology. Samsung has a number of empowerment, entrepreneurial and skills-based projects in the ICT sector in which it operates in.
Inspired by the transformative power of economic investment that took South Korea from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the most successful economies, Samsung South Africa has re-affirmed its commitment to continue making incredible strides forward in its long-term vision for the country. This is reflected in the company’s continued investment in the country coupled with its Level 1 – BBBEE Rating for four (4) consecutive years, which is aligned with Samsung’s dedication to remain an active contributor to the future of the South African economy and strong supporter of economic transformation.
Importantly, Samsung has re-affirmed its commitment to continue building on the landmark multimillionaire Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP), which is already celebrating over three years of sustained success. Launched in May 2019 in partnership with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and sector support from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), this programme is expected to have a measurable impact on job creation with a projected contribution of over a billion rands to the South African economy at large.
Samsung’s 10-year plan aims to address key developmental aspects linked to the National Development Plan and the overall transformation of the economy. Samsung’s EEIP programme is aligned to the DTIC’s Black Industrialisation programme through e-Waste recycling and beneficiation, which has seen an investment in two black, female-owned entities who now operate in the full value chain of e-Waste. It also has a strong focus on enterprise development and capacity building in ICT through scarce skills development. In addition, Samsung is developing 4IR skills in partnership with a number of institutions of higher learning in South Africa.
South African youth are gaining artisanal and electronics skills through the Samsung Engineering Academy programme as well as coding, software development, IOT and artificial intelligence skills through the Samsung Innovation Campus programme. Additionally, learners in grades 10 & 11 will be encouraged to solve social issues in their communities through Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition, which is being piloted in 51 schools across the country.
Ultimately, as part of a global community, these ongoing collaborations and empowerment initiatives are designed to make a difference to all people.