Microsoft has moved back to eThekwini and yesterday operned a new regional office in Umhlanga.
MD Mteto Nyati told customers and partners at the office's opening that it is in recognition of eThekwini’s growing importance as an economic destination.
“Quite simply, the amount of business we do down here, and the number of partner companies we have, is growing at such a rate that we could no longer continue to service the city from a smaller local office – or our headquarters up in Johannesburg,” says Nyati.
Nyati says the stronger regional presence would also allow the company to step up its social and skills development programmes in the city.
One such programme has seen Microsoft connect with local NGO, The Development House, to train 40 destitute people in a basic digital literacy training course. Today, more than half of these people are employed in Durban’s burgeoning local call centre companies, BizWorks and Ignition.
Another initiative saw Microsoft partnering with the QuadPara Ass of SA to establish a technology centre in Pinetown last year. Since it opened its doors, more than 150 disabled people have become computer literate.
“By increasing our presence in this city, we have no doubt that we’ll be even better positioned to serve the economic and social-development needs of local business, government and the broader community,” says Nyati.