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Contributions of EU investments to Inclusive Growth in South Africa

From March to November 2018, a research project was conducted titled “Contribution of European Union Investments to Inclusive Growth in South Africa”. Fully funded by the SA-EU Dialogue Facility and implemented at the initiative of the Black Management Forum (BMF) with an endorsement from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the study comprised a combination of company surveys, evaluation of publicly available B-BBEE Scorecard and Employment Equity Report data, deep dive workshops and a concluding panel discussion in the context of the BMF Annual Conference, 11 October 2018.

Role of Ascend: contracted project manager


Policy and regulatory updates for a multinational OEM with regard to the business environment in South Africa

Ascend provided executive-style policy alerts, weekly policy summaries and ad-hoc consultations, which the client shared internally for information, preventive measures and strategy formulation. Our services offered an extension of the client’s Corporate Affairs team in terms of scope and experience.

Role of Ascend: external policy monitoring and advisory services


Annual Incentive Report 2017/2018 by the dti

This annual report provides an overview of the application and performance of incentives and rewards rendered by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to companies operating in South Africa, with the aim of growing the South African economy.

Ascend was awarded the project following a competitive tender process conducted by the dti.

Role of Ascend: contracted project manager for the drafting, design and production of the report

Representation of a European business association in South Africa

We represent the interests of and offer a local point of contact in South Africa for a leading European business association (more than 600 members). As part of our service, we draft a monthly summary of latest policy and regulatory developments in South Africa, conduct topical events for members and represent the association on local exhibitions and conferences. Furthermore, we also liaise with government representatives to further the South African trade and investment framework on behalf of the association’s members.

Role of Ascend: local representative

Communications support for a German development agency

Being the lead and custodian of marketing and communications for an international programme of a German development agency, advising nine country teams on marketing and communication work specific to their regions and providing guidance on overall programme key messages and materials.

Role of Ascend: contracted communications advisor

Support to EU Market Access Team in South Africa (EU FWC - Lot 1)

In the context of the “Framework Contract Commission 2011 - Lot 1: Studies and technical assistance in all sectors (Contract N° 2015/366778-1; lead by European External Action Service of the European Union), we were responsible for the drafting of policy papers and alerts, and implementation of strategic communication measures, addressing issues pertinent to European investments in South Africa, such as investment frameworks, property rights, B-BBEE, industrialisation, etc.

Role of Ascend: contracted key expert

Assistance with the establishment and further development of the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa (EUCCISA)


From May 2015 to November 2016, we assisted with the establishment and growth of the EUCCISA as the advocacy platform for European business interests in Southern Africa and correspondingly provided management and lobbying capacities.

The role included but was not limited to service and policy focus area definition, corporate member relations (executives of corporate EU multinationals), government relations and stakeholder communications.

Role of Ascend: contracted senior advisor