Overcoming challenges together
By Dr Ingrid Jensen, Executive Manager: Reputation, Gautrain Management Agency
The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) is of the belief that it can only fulfil its mandate in the long term by creating value for key stakeholders, partners and for society. For the GMA, creating shared value means overcoming challenges together and thus bringing value to stakeholders and society whilst delivering on its core business. It is about ensuring long-term, sustainable value creation for stakeholders while driving societal change.
Having recently become a member of the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI), the GMA is embracing the concept of shared value with the aim of making a collective impact on societal challenges. Aligned to this aim, the GMA has since formulated a clear shared value purpose – Transforming space, people and the economy through mobility. When formulating the purpose, the GMA took into consideration Sustainable Development Goals that applies to the Agency and the GMA Board and all staff participating in the formulation of the purpose. Through its membership with the SVAI, the GMA hopes to, among others, contribute to business and social impact at scale, create an ecosystem that drives and
supports the creation of inclusive societies and create inclusive growth with
equitable opportunities for all.
As a purpose-led organisation, the GMA, through the Gautrain, is more than a transport mode. In addition to Gautrain’s technical, legal and financial objectives set in the early 2000s, the Gautrain added a fourth objective: Socio-Economic Development (SED) to contribute positively to the Gauteng society and economy. SED targets set are continually exceeded. Almost ten years after commencement of Gautrain’s operations, an economic and social impact study of the project was conducted by Hatch – an independent engineering and business entity. The results have shown that the Gautrain has achieved its objectives of contributing to the growing of Gauteng’s society and economy.
In the findings of the Hatch impact study, the Gautrain has continued to:
- deliver jobs and positively impacting social investment;
- influencing transport choices;
- reinforcing development nodes;
- integrating Gauteng and its communities; and
- changing perceptions and attracting investment.
Realising that the sustainability of the Agency and the wellbeing of its communities are mutually dependent, the GMA launched a two-year Graduate Programme targeted at exposing young graduates in various fields to practical and applied knowledge that the GMA already has. The programme aims to address any gaps at the entry level and gives individuals a broad experience across the different fields.
Through its Partnership Strategy the GMA has partnered with both social and commercial organisations to create shared value for the various stakeholders whilst positively impacting on the Gautrain brand value. Some of the partnerships agreements are Discovery Insure that gives members cash back for using the Gautrain System; a Train‑to‑Train partnership with Planet Fitness that offered passengers one‑month free gym membership if they bought a Gautrain product. Through a partnership with the University of Stellenbosch’s Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC), GMA supports science and technology education in several South African secondary schools – particularly in disadvantaged communities by deploying mobile science and technology laboratories.
GMA has successfully shown that it has always lived the shared value principles and aims to continue doing so. As part of the shared value community, the GMA believes in collaboration and partnership to bring about social change whilst providing a public transport service.
This is the start of a new series featuring the experiences of new members to the SVAI. Look forward to reading about the Shared Value journey of other new members in upcoming newsletter issues.