dhk Architects achieves B-BBEE Level 1 status

Architecture firm dhk’s staff at their premises in the Old Cape Quarter in De Waterkant, Cape Town.

Over the last 13 years dhk Architects has progressively advanced on a process of transformation, and recently announced the most recent milestone in this journey – the achievement of a Level 1 B-BBEE rating. And while this is a significant and important benchmark, dhk Architects also recognises it is by no means the end of the journey, but rather a step forward towards greater systemic change.

The company first achieved a B-BBEE rating in 2009, but remained at Level 8 until 2018, at which point the dhk board made a conscious decision to focus more aggressively on transformation across the company, and so began to define and implement policies to that effect.

dhk’s B-BBEE rating progressively improved over the next few years, moving up to level 5 in 2019, Level 3 in 2020, Level 2 in 2021, and ultimately a Level 1 rating this year. The company says that this achievement is not the end of the road – it simply means the very real steps they have been taking towards measurable company-wide change are beginning to show results. dhk sees the achievement of a Level 1 B-BBEE rating as one metric in an ongoing process that they will continue to advocate for.

dhk’s transformation policy is intended to assist in addressing the historic inequality that characterizes the built-environment professions, and society as a whole in South Africa. In order to start to shift this in a meaningful and sustainable way, the company’s strategy aims to:

  • Ensure that they address employment equity and representation through their recruitment, succession planning and promotion processes
  • Provide opportunities for staff to learn and grow by investing heavily in skills development and training
  • Encourage diversity in dhk’s workforce, and encourage this diversity to filter into the work the company produces
  • Create a nurturing environment that enables development and encourages growth
  • Ensure that Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment is addressed across every sector of the company’s overall business strategy
  • Work at grass-roots level to encourage transformation from school-age through tertiary studies
  • Ensure that dhk’s business contributes to the social upliftment of our spatial and economic context, to help bring about effective and meaningful transformation of the South African economy

“We are immensely proud of achieving Level 1 – but we know we’re still on a journey. Over the next few years we expect to continue to expand black ownership and management control of the business, and deepen the diversity of our talent pool. We have a reputation for delivering extraordinary places and spaces across South Africa and globally – we remain committed to this, and our ongoing transformation will assist us in maintaining and improving the quality of our work,” says Derick Henstra, dhk executive chairman and founding partner.FZ

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