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Message from the Chief Executive

Dear Stakeholders

The theme of our Stakeholder Feedback Report for 2009 is “People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose”. This encapsulates the essence of the focus areas of our Corporate Citizenship strategy in Deloitte.

At Deloitte we understand the interconnectedness of the world and that our actions have an impact on our clients, our people and our stakeholders. This knowledge brings with it a host of responsibilities, which we have taken into consideration in the formulation of our business strategy and our corporate citizenship strategy.

“Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.”
Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese Poet

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Grant Gelink
Chief Executive

Q: Why is sustainable development important to Deloitte?
A: Sustainable development and our commitment to Corporate Citizenship remains core to all Deloitte business strategies. We view sustainable development from both an internal and external perspective, as our concern is not only for our own continued success, but also for the profession, the market and the Southern African region as a whole.

Internally, sustainability measures, among others, include sound financial and operational management, based on good corporate governance. It is also crucial for our firm to build our pipeline of talent and transform our organisation so that it is reflective of the demographics of the countries we operate in.

Externally, Deloitte is actively involved in a number of high profile thought leadership initiatives, where we are in a position to contribute to the development of frameworks, legislation and regulations that impact the marketplace, and specifically our clients. For example, our chairman Futhi Mtoba was appointed to represent African business on the Board of the United Nations Global Compact. Locally we are also closely involved with the NEPAD initiative. We also play a strategic role in the National Business Initiative’s Sustainable Futures Unit as well as globally with the World Economic Forum.

Through these, and other strategic partnerships, Deloitte is able to do what we do best: contribute thought leadership and expertise in the areas of sustainable development through organisations which have direct influence and relationships with the stakeholders we hope to reach and influence.

Q: Why is sustainable development still important to Deloitte in an economic downturn?
A: At Deloitte we argue that sustainable development is even more important in an economic downturn, as it is during difficult times like these that an organisation’s commitment to its objectives are tested.

In our business actions speak louder than words. Therefore, social and environmental responsibility gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our Shared Values and ethical principles to our stakeholders in a meaningful manner.

Our commitment to delivering on our Corporate Citizenship strategy remains a high priority for our firm. It is deeply embedded in our business strategy and corporate objectives and we believe that staying the course will help our firm to be successful during turbulent times. A firm of our stature has built its reputation by standing by its clients in good times and bad. Likewise, our commitment to uplifting our society and behaving as a responsible corporate citizen is not determined by economic circumstances, and we are determined to stay our course.

Q: Why is Stakeholder Engagement important to Deloitte?
A: At Deloitte many of our achievements are the result of long term strategies that are now bearing fruit, and therefore have become part of the way we do business.

However, there are times when it is valuable to share our successes with our stakeholders so that they can appreciate the commitment of our firm to deliver on our promises.

This Stakeholder feedback report is one of various channels through which we are able to successfully reach our stakeholders. It is also an opportunity for us to express our ongoing commitment to the fulfilment of our corporate citizenship goals and objectives, which will positively influence all our stakeholders.

We find great value in staying in touch with our alumni and retired partners and directors. Their insights and friendships have proven invaluable as we have maintained our trusted relationships with them over the years.

Through our stakeholder engagement strategy, we continue to drive client service by monitoring satisfaction levels with our clients after each assignment. We also stay close to other key stakeholders, such as Government, black business and professional bodies. This helps us stay ahead of the curve in terms of thought leadership and adding value to our stakeholders.

We welcome opportunities to engage with you as we work with you to contribute to the upliftment of the economy and society in Southern Africa.

Q: Does Deloitte make a difference?
A: I believe that the personal contributions each Deloittian makes through donations of our time, sharing our intellectual capital and leading by positive example makes a huge difference to the people we interact with.

But, perhaps we should rather ask the beneficiaries of our IMPACT Day initiatives and those who benefit from the Deloitte Foundation’s contributions if they have experienced the difference our people make?

We should also ask the hundreds of Project Siyakhula students across the region who are being tutored in Mathematics and Accountancy at high school level, to ensure that they have a running start to get into university.

We should ask the beneficiaries of our bursaries and scholarships if they feel they have a better chance knowing they have the financial and moral support of a firm like ours.

We should ask the many professional and legislative bodies on which we serve if our intellectual contributions and the strength of our Deloitte network makes a positive impact on achieving their goals.

Let’s ask the hundreds of trainee accountants and experienced hires that join our firm each year if our reputation as a caring and responsible organisation had anything to do with their decision to join us and pursue their career aspirations.

And, we should ask the clients we serve, if our willingness to help them protect and build their organisations’ reputations makes us stand apart as a firm committed to excellence – ours and theirs.

I am confident they will all answer that their experiences with Deloitte have demonstrated that our firm is driven by our desire to be the standard of excellence in all we do, ensuring we stay one step ahead to meet the needs of our clients and stakeholders at every turn.

Sincerely,
Grant Gelink
Chief Executive
Deloitte Southern Africa

For questions or comments: sustainability@deloitte.co.za

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