Employment Equity

Empowerment Credentials

The backbone of Co-Arc International'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 Co-Arc International or under the Co-Arc Tayob partnership, the in-house approach to empowerment initiatives is guided by the “affirmative action mission statement“ adopted by both Co-Arc International and the Co-Arc Tayob joint venture. This document singles out the following goals:

  • Staff advancement through in-house training of permanent staff, student traineeships and affording staff opportunities to grow within the firm
  • Financial support for staff training and professional education and contributions towards disadvantaged communities through pro-bono work
  • Voluntary associations with and assistance to previously marginalized firms and individuals for purposes of skills transfer
  • Encouraging affirmative action beyond the confines of the own practice by promoting and monitoring affirmable practices on construction projects
  • Broadening the base of knowledge among directors and staff for meaningful contribution towards marginalized societies
  • Demonstrating by means of architectural contributions a responsibility towards the community, and assisting in all activities of the practice in the upliftment and integration of the South African people.

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. Co-Arc International 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 Co-Arc International 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 Co-Arc International 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.