Ambassador of the United States to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard today presented General Electric South Africa Technologies’ (GESAT) with the Finalist Certificate for the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE Award) for its business and corporate social responsibility (CSR) accomplishments in South Africa.
Since 1999, the ACE Award recognizes the important role U.S. businesses play abroad as good corporate citizens. The Award sends a strong signal of the Department’s commitment to further corporate social responsibility, innovation, exemplary practices, and democratic values worldwide. This year the competition was fierce and GESAT was among the top finalist from U.S. companies around the world.
Tim Schweikert, CEO of GESAT, feels this award highlights not only GESAT’s accomplishments as a U.S. company operating in South Africa, but also GESAT’s enduring commitment to help South Africa’s economy grow.
Ambassador Gaspard said he was delighted that U.S. companies operating in South Africa are making a difference. “We take pride in the U.S. companies in South Africa that are enhancing the South African economy and further promoting our corporate values and helping define the United States as a positive force in the world.”
One of GESAT’s major accomplishments in 2014 was winning the tender for the manufacture of 233 diesel locomotives for Transnet, the state-owned integrated freight transport company. These locomotives are part of Transnet’s Market Driven Strategy (MDS) that is a US$30 billion capital investment program involving expanding infrastructure in rail, ports, and pipeline. GESAT’s win will generate over 5000 new jobs in South Africa.
As part of GESAT’s CSR efforts, it has invested in the operation of rural schools in Kromdraai leading to 375 children receiving education, 200 adults empowered with skills to get jobs, and 135,000 meals served. In addition, GESAT donated 10 million Rand (US$1 million) to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. This donation will help fulfill Nelson Mandela’s wish for improved child healthcare by easing the shortage of specialized pediatric healthcare in Southern Africa.
The presentation of the winner of the ACE Award took place in a ceremony in Washington D.C. on December 9.