The backbone of Meyer Pienaar’s employment equity initiatives is a standing joint venture agreement with Aziz Tayob Architects, with 50% PDI equity shareholding. This joint venture has established itself as one of the leading empowerment partnerships in the field of architecture and urban design, which pro-actively pursues an empowerment programme centred around a seven-point mission statement adopted at inception of the partnership. Most major commissions in South Africa are executed within this joint venture, and an admirable track record of empowerment has been achived in the past five years.
Whether projects are executed by Meyer Pienaar or under the Meyer Pienaar Tayob partnership, the in-house approach to empowerment initiatives is guided by the “affirmative action mission statement“ adopted by both Meyer Pienaar and the Meyer Pienaar Tayob joint venture. This document singles out the following goals:
These principles are actively pursued on an ongoing basis, and are regularly reviewed. All staff requests for support and advancement are dealt with on partner level, and measured against the affirmative advancement guidelines. Each new project is analyzed also for the opportunities it offers to further the aims spelt out in the mission statement.
Since adoption of the affirmative action mission statement, advancement of previously marginalized individuals, in particular for those who may need wider exposure in the field of architecture and urban design, has become an active part of the studio culture. Meyer Pienaar is structured to be able to handle large-scale projects, which affords beneficiaries of its affirmative action policy exposure to the cutting edge of the profession, and true opportunity for personal and professional growth to committed previously disadvantaged individuals.
Several senior members of staff are accredited with the Department of Public Works for administration of targeted procurement in the construction industry, and through its empowerment joint venture Meyer Pienaar has met tender requirements for major public works contracts, including the R500 million Mpumalanga Government Complex in which ambitious empowerment targets were linked to the project.
Over the years Meyer Pienaar has contributed substantially towards in-house training of staff, sponsored training courses, bursaries and charities, and has made significant social contributions through pro bono work.