Mitchells Plain Ambassador brings us closer to the community – a Q&A with Ricky Mabee
In July last year we were proud to be the first business services provider to open a contact centre in the Cape Town community of Mitchells Plain.
The unveiling of the new facility in the Watergate Centre created huge interest locally but also across South Africa, with the announcement that we plan to create 1,000 new customer service and collections jobs by 2025.
Whilst it’s only around eight months since we first opened the new offices, the feedback from those living in Mitchells Plain has been superb and we have been delighted to give career opportunities to so many locals, including many young people.
As part of our ongoing community engagement work, we have identified sales advisor Ricky Mabee as our first ever Mitchells Plain ambassador – a role designed to help us form closer relationships with the community and inform us where we can support meaningful community projects.
After reading in the media about our move into Mitchells Plain, Ricky successfully applied for an advisor role within our Mitchells Plain offices, but it quickly became clear he could add so much more.
So here in our latest Q&A series, we sat down with Ricky to chat more about his new role and find out what he is planning.
Hi Ricky, great you can join us. Perhaps we can start by asking you what you will be doing as our very first Mitchells Plain ambassador?
It’s a huge honour to hold this role and be trusted by Sigma Connected to really help engrain us into the local community here in Mitchells Plain.
I think it’s really important to say what it means to people in Mitchells Plain to have Sigma opening the contact centre here. So far, it has given just over one hundred people new opportunities, the chance to build a career, and importantly, earn money to support themselves and their families.
I am a resident myself, having lived in Mitchells Plain for the past 20 years, so essentially my role is to identify outreach projects, sports initiatives and impactful ideas which Sigma Connected can support, and also to encourage people to apply for the jobs we are offering by giving them more of an insight into who we are and the career opportunities available.
And how do you engage with the community?
I have lived in the area for two decades so as a resident I know lots of people and businesses. I am fortunate to have almost 4,000 Followers on Facebook so in the social media age, that’s a really important platform for me and it gives exciting possibilities to engage with people, have conversations and promote the work we are doing at Sigma Connected.
Another chance to raise awareness of all the good things Sigma Connected is doing, and wanting to do more of, is through networking at local events and meetings. One recent event I was fortunate to attend was the launch of the very first ‘First Thursday’, which was attended by all Ward Councillors and the Deputy Mayor. Many of those there will now meet every first Thursday of each month moving forward. It was a great way to get my face known and to talk more about job opportunities at Sigma Connected. There are also many more community meetings and events to attend that will allow us to create more awareness of Sigma and how we can help the community.
It’s early days, but do you feel you a making a difference?
It is early days but I think the impact is clear and we are strengthening links.
There is a population of 300,000 people living in Mitchells Plain with 20 high schools and 15 primary schools so there are many young people. It is also an area of high unemployment so we are making a huge difference with creating more jobs. Our location means people don’t have to commute into central Cape Town, so they are saving money on travel / public transport as job opportunities are right on their doorstep. It will also mean a better work / life balance not having to get numerous transport / busses, saving hours which can be spent with their families instead.
And finally, Ricky, what does a good year look like in 2023?
That’s a great question. For me, we are showcasing that as a vibrant community we have ideas and a passion to succeed and that’s why Sigma Connected is so important for us.
A good 2023 would see Sigma being involved with the right projects, investing time and money into the right people, and involving as many young people as possible in the work we’re doing. As I’ve said, the youth side of things is really important as many don’t want, or cannot afford, to go to college or university, so instead they can focus on building meaningful careers.
It’s a big part of my job this year to help build momentum behind the contact centre that Sigma has here, explain the opportunities which are open for people, and generally raise awareness. We have planned a programme of Open Days and that will help to give people a taste of what it’s like to work in the Sigma family.
It’s going to be an amazing year and I want us to make a difference not just for people personally, but across the whole community.