corporate social investment

corporate social investment

  • Your Turn to Change the World for the Better

    Think of ten people who have changed the world…before you start counting off names like Mother Theresa and Mahatma Ghandi, try looking a little closer to home. Ten ordinary South Africans have spent the past year making a major difference to various communities around the country through the first ever Vodacom Change the World programme, Vodacom’s unique initiative that mobilises skilled professionals to take time out and work for a community or nonprofit organisation for one year. Now the opportunity to change the world by donating your talent and passion to a charity is available to You.

    Vodacom is, once again, giving 10 South Africans the unique opportunity to donate their time and expertise as volunteers at one of 10 nonprofit organisations that serve various local communities, for a period of 12 months.  The 10 volunteers will get the chance to share the skills and experience that they possess and which are so desperately lacking by the identified non-profit organisations.

    The 10 nonprofit organisations taking part in the next leg of the Vodacom Change the World programme and the nature of skills they need include:

    • Association for People with Disabilities (APD) Polokwane, Limpopo: A Project Marketer/Fundraiser is on this NPO’s wish list to help it promote the advancement of persons with physical and/or mental disabilities. The person would be responsible for strategically and operationally managing fundraising and marketing activities to create awareness about the APD and its services, market its products and raise funds. This will assist them to attain their maximum level of independence and integration into the community;
    • New Beginningz, Tshwane: To ensure that the organisation is able to continue to provide programmes and services to abandoned, abused and neglected children living, working and begging on the streets in and around Tshwane, this NPO requires the services of a Project Manager. This role involves taking full ownership of three of the organisation’s major projects, including programme planning and execution, managing staff, liaising with partners and evaluation;
    • Jo’burg Child Welfare Society, Johannesburg: Driven by the belief that every human being deserves a childhood free from abuse and neglect, the JCW is in need of a Research and Community Development Coordinator to help it extend vital care and support to underprivileged children, families and communities in Johannesburg. This person will need to build a sustainable support service to managers of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and develop an advocacy toolkit for them, as well as conduct research and social impact studies;
    • The Smile Foundation, Johannesburg: Over the past 10 years, the organisation has put smiles on the faces of over 600 children with facial abnormalities through providing them with free corrective plastic and reconstructive surgery. Given the trauma that some of these families have faced, the need for a Psychologist is evident. This role involves streamlining processes directly related to the Psychological and Social support structure offered by the Smile Foundation and involves skills such as clinical examination, education and capacity building, research and evaluation;
    • Free State Residential Care Centre, Bloemfontein: Created to provide a safe living and working environment for intellectually challenged adults, the Centre empowers its beneficiaries with the power to make a meaningful contribution to society through its five sheltered employment workshops. The Centre believes that work is therapeutic and helps boost self-esteem. With 156 residents and 38 disabled day workers needing training on a daily basis, a Workshop Manager is essential to coordinate and support all the activities of the workshop, manage production, and oversee quality control of all projects;
    • Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity (NOAH), Umhlanga: There are currently about 3.7 million orphans in South Africa. NOAH was born out of a need to take responsibility for these children and aims to give them an opportunity to grow up to be emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy adults. To realise this ideal the organisation is seeking the expertise of an Early Childhood Development Specialist who will be responsible for developing a comprehensive ECD programme; training, mentoring and providing support to staff responsible for running the programme; and providing assistance with maintaining a safe and stimulating environment for young children at the arks;
    • Algoa Bay Council for the Aged (ABCA), Port Elizabeth: This non-profit organisation provides diverse services to older persons and those with similar needs with the aim of promoting their independence and empowering them to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives. A Professional Nurse is required to help bring relief, comfort and decency to the lives of the Eastern Cape’s elderly;
    • Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA), Cape Town: The unique, private, nonprofit business school provides emerging leaders with the opportunity to study high quality, accredited academic courses that are focused on developing entrepreneurship and leadership. A Marketer/Fundraiser is needed to create awareness around this innovative learning community and enable more entrepreneurial leaders to graduate by advising on and implementing brand building strategies for student recruitment and fundraising;
    • Ndlovu Care Group, Groblersdal, Mpumalanga: As an innovative, multi award winning community development group, this organisation has been implementing their model for Community Health and Development in rural areas throughout South Africa. A Social Worker is desperately needed to take responsibility for those within the organisation’s Treatment and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children programmes. This role includes counselling, supporting and training other counsellors, involvement in awareness campaigns, educational programmes and community work projects;
    • FAMSA, Upington: This NPO is dedicated to promoting human dignity and worth by assisting individuals, couples, families, ‘work place families’ and communities to achieve functionality. To manage the organisation’s programmes that tackle urgent social issues such as Family Violence, Alcohol and Drug abuse, Women Empowerment, Poverty Relief and Prevention of AIDS, a Project Manager is required. This person would be responsible for the management of community development initiatives and the implementation of family preservation programmes in communities through activities such as training, strategy development and development of project material;
    On top of providing these organisations with an experienced volunteer whose skills, experience and of course, personality best matches the participating NPO, Vodacom will provide a grant of R70 000 to each organisation hosting a volunteer as part of this programme. A further R10 000 per month, to cover project related costs to be managed jointly by the NPO and volunteer, will also be provided.

    Vodacom will offer each participant a monthly stipend of R25 000 to cover their living expenses. Each volunteer will also be provided with a laptop, mobile phone and pre-paid credit so that they can share their experiences with the world and inspire others to make a difference as well.

    Entries to take part in the 2012 Vodacom Change the World programme will be open from the 8th of January to the 10th of February 2012.

    So, if you are a skilled professional who wants to give back to those in need, visit to find out more about the NPOs involved, the positions available, necessary qualifications and to submit an online application form.

    “Opportunities that allow those with experience to share constitute an innovative way of giving. If you have the skills and the time – why not throw your name into the hat and contribute towards a better South Africa?” says Mthobi Tyamzashe, Executive Director: CSI at Vodacom.

    To view other NGO press releases, refer to

    Date published: 
  • SA Philanthropists Motivated by ‘Ubuntu’ – Report

    Wealthy South Africans are among the world’s most generous philanthropists, motivated by a sense of ‘ubuntu’ and the fact that the country is one of the world’s most unequal societies, according to an ABSA report.

    ‘Global Giving: The Culture of Philanthropy’
    notes that the country is the second-most charitable country, behind the United States.

    The report ranks SA fourth, with Ireland and India joining first, in giving up time to help the less fortunate. It also finds that SA  along with the US, Ireland and India, lead the way as countries that donate significant amounts of money and time to charitable causes.

    To read the article titled, “Rich South Africans are champion givers,” click here.
    Business Day
  • Giving Forward: The New Philanthropic Way to Give Back

    This week I had the opportunity to attend a conference in South Africa along with other leaders from the government, social and private sector to think about the role of philanthropy in addressing social challenges. Reflecting on what we shared and discussed, I realise that for me, philanthropy is not simply a means of 'giving back', but more importantly a means of "giving forward."

    Giving forward means going beyond traditional charity and addressing the root causes of social problems like malnutrition through social innovation and multi-sector collaboration, leveraging diverse expertise and resources to reach those in need. I am talking about a kind of philanthropy that is a catalyst for change -- for example, investments that foster local entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium enterprises and that strengthen a country's health and economy. Philanthropy for me means prosperity that is inclusive for the many -- not just the few -- and that creates a self-sustaining cycle of growth.

    One of the reasons I joined the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) as Chair of the Board was that I wanted to be part of a model that leverages markets and many different players to solve the enormous challenge while empowering local civil society, who are closer to the challenges than we are.

    Let me give you a tangible example. Shainaz Begum is one of 74 000 community health volunteers at BRAC, a large Bangladeshi NGO supported by GAIN deployed in close to 70 000 villages across Bangladesh -- a country with a high level of malnutrition. From the village of Sharifbag, about an hour and a half drive from the capital Dhaka, she has been a community health volunteer, known as a ‘Shasthya Shebika’ in the local Bangla language, for more than twelve years. Shainaz goes door to door in her village selling medicines and health commodities such as oral saline, iodised salt and birthing kits. She visits an average of 300 households and earns an average of 2 500 taka per month (US$ 35) from the profit margins on the medicines she sells.

    Recently, through GAIN's ability to connect the non-profit world with the business world, she is also now selling sachets of vitamin and mineral powders that can be mixed with an infant's meal for US 3 cents per sachet. Through support from GAIN, Renata, a large family owned pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh, is manufacturing the sachets, and has teamed up the BRAC to sell and market the product to vulnerable families in remote, rural areas through community workers like Shainaz. Renata is currently producing five million sachets of the product per month. Over a period of five years, the investment will benefit nearly seven million children on a commercially sustained basis.

    It's a win-win partnership that harnesses the strengths of each sector and provides a sustainable way to give Bangladeshi children an equal start in life to those in developed countries.

    At the same time, the multi-sector collaboration is empowering local civil society leaders like Shainaz through developing her leadership skills and providing her with an income. She is even running for local elections in her village upon the request of people in her village. These are the kinds of grassroots leaders we need to empower and to include in this 'giving forward' model.

    Over the past year, GAIN has supported interventions in more than 25 countries providing close to 400 million individuals in Africa and Asia with access to better quality foods; and we are on target to reach one billion over the next few years. We are beginning to have a tremendous impact on the very challenging issue of malnutrition facing two billion people in the world.

    The giving forward model has played an important role in establishing GAIN as an organisation and continues to provide catalytic, high-impact capital to create sustainable, cost-effective solutions for stronger, healthier communities and nations. So rather than giving back, give forward and make lasting change possible.

    - Jay Naidoo is chairperson of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and a founder of the development arm of the investment and management company, J & J Group, which he co-founded.

    For more information about his work, refer to

    This article was first published in the Huffington Post on 23 November 2010.

    Jay Naidoo
  • Engen Donates FIFA Hampers to Orphans and Vulnerable Children

    Press Release

    18 September 2010

    Johannesburg: Engen Gauteng and Convenience and Corporate Social Investments (CSI) department has donated more than 100 FIFA hampers and lunch to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) attending the kids club at Nkanyiso Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Organistation in Naledi, Soweto.

    Speaking during the event, Engen’s Regional Promotions Executive, Sindy Gramoney, stated that, “We are delighted to be able to support and help the children belonging to Nkanyiso”.

    Our OVC entertained the Engen delegation and showcased their skills in drama, dance, sharing messages on HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, health and nutrition through poems – which they learn during our kids clubs taking place every Saturday.

    “Nkanyiso is very delighted for the support and donation that we received from Engen, the donation means a lot to the children as most of our children have no parents that buy them presents, so it brings a lot of joy to the kids to see that they are also other people that love and care about them too,” says Ethel Zulu, Managing Director at Nkanyiso.

    Our organisation is currently operating in Gauteng’s most disadvantaged communities and rural communities of Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape.

    For more information:

    Ethel Zulu
    Managing Director: Nkanyiso
    Tel: 011 326 3507
    Mobile: 082 976 9805

    Sindy Gramoney
    Regional Promotions Executive
    Engen Petroleum Limited
    Tel:  011 480 6342
    Cell: 0 82 623 4417
    Date published: 
    Nkanyiso Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Organistation
  • Infrastructure Investment Means More than Buildings

    Part of improving the levels of quality in education and health is providing infrastructure that responds to global needs in terms of skills, technology and sports.

    One of the critical success factors to the growth of the South African economy is infrastructure investment. Key areas of government expenditure, which account for more than half of the total public sector infrastructure investment and incorporate all spheres, are: provincial and local roads, bulk water infrastructure and water supply networks, energy distribution, housing, schools and clinics, business centres, sports facilities, and multi-purpose government service centres, including police stations, courts and correctional facilities.

    This is still, to a large extent, catering to the basic needs of previously disadvantaged communities in rural areas and townships, which represent the majority of the population in South Africa.

    South Africa, as a developing economy, needs to start responding to the pressures of being a global player by producing the highest levels of quality in education and health as one of its primary objectives. Part of improving these levels of quality is providing infrastructure that responds to global needs in terms of skills, technology, sports, etc. In the case of education, much focus has been on eradicating classrooms under trees and on providing sanitation in schools.

    Through coordinated partnerships with government, business is able to offer much-needed support to this part of their corporate social investment initiatives. An example is the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund and the De Beers Fund, both in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Education through the Rural Schools Programme.

    In 2009, this programme was able to provide not only classrooms but waterborne toilets, water tanks and boreholes, science laboratories, libraries, computer centres, cooking areas and administration blocks. With these facilities, children can focus on learning, teachers are afforded a good working environment and cooking for children is done in hygienic environments. The next step of the programme could be to provide actual equipment for the facilities provided i.e. computers, laboratory equipment, projectors, etc. This would ensure that even a school in the most rural part of Limpopo Province would be able to access the World Wide Web, perform experiments and embark on research projects, among other things.

    However, infrastructure alone is not a complete solution without capacity-building of the teachers and parents. In most cases, a school’s success is dependent on the involvement of parents in their children’s education, as well as the ability of the education system to support the teachers.

    Leadership is the single biggest success factor in a school; therefore, principals and school governing bodies need serious development interventions if South African schools are to compete at a global level. These interventions, therefore, need to be part of the deliverables when embarking on infrastructure projects. Infrastructure projects in this context should include the social aspects of that particular environment as project success factors, and not just a building.

    There is still a great need to monitor these investments. Monitoring, evaluation and review will play a key role in informing the formulation of further strategies in response to the developmental needs of the South African economy. The goal in education should be to have all schools in South Africa as whole schools, where a child is able to develop academically, socially and physically in interactive classrooms, labs, lecture halls, art studios, libraries, theatre halls and sports fields.

    Tshikululu’s approach to capital building projects and infrastructure investment is one of balance. We combine compassion for the dreams of the community with whom the project is undertaken, and understanding of the challenges inherent in construction. Read more about our capital projects services.

    - Victor Modiba is capital projects consultant to Tshikululu Social Investments.
  • Food Gardens: CSI’s Ugly Duckling Soon to Become the Swan?

    South Africa’s government has committed itself to achieving eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and arguably the chief determinant among these is food security. That’s because human development is dependent on human health. And good health is dependent on good nutrition.

    Yet, initiatives that seek to support marginalised and poor communities’ food security appear to be left to gather up the crumbs under the corporate social investment (CSI) funding table in South Africa. The lion’s share of CSI funding locally is channelled into education, health and HIV, and social and community development, understandably. However, food security – as a class of development project – falls seventh on the list after Enterprise Development and the Environment.

    It would seem that the powerful dual impact of food security projects is being overlooked, or much misunderstood. This dual nature encompasses both short-term reactive and long-term proactive solutions to social inequity and injustice.

    Firstly, the provision of support for community food security initiatives allows development workers a direct and tangible way to support the basic and immediate welfare needs of a targeted community. A feeding scheme allows poor and malnourished people access to good nutritious food for as close to free as possible. There are different models for getting this right; from collecting surplus (e.g. after sell-by-date) merchandise from the formal economy, to negotiating regular donor support (in cash or in kind) from the private sector to procure food for distribution to the needy. Logistics preclude this sort of public benefit activity to urban areas, however, where concentrations of poor people and their relative proximity to food supply allow for cost effective service delivery.

    Secondly, best practice food security projects have also recognised that building sustainability into their operating model means building self-sufficiency into the package for the beneficiary. Indeed, to coin a phrase, who can argue with the logic of giving someone their own fishing rod and teaching them to fish for themselves – as opposed to feeding them just for the day? Teaching the poor and malnourished how to cultivate their own nutritious food is both the most noble and the most cost effective food security intervention.

    But creating the right environment for those who wish to take up the skills learnt – to establish and care for their own food garden as part of a new lifestyle – also requires the provision of basic farmer support (having a local presence providing information, expertise, and possibly collectively bargained discount inputs and collectively bargained marketing channels – where possible). Yes, there is arguably a role and a place for activation campaigns (getting people to start growing veggies), but more importantly, there is a need for ongoing support.

    Among local CSI funders over the past while, there has been more a failure to recognise that food security projects, be they feeding scheme or home-farmer developing in nature, require sustained ongoing and uninterrupted support. All too often a project is funded just long enough to see the food garden established – without ensuring that the requisite support structures that need to exist to support the micro-farmer are in place and are themselves sustainable.

    All agricultural production worldwide requires sustained public support: be it in the provision of infrastructure to help deliver inputs and produce efficiently, to tax breaks and incentives, through to direct state subsidies, no farmer can succeed without sustained support of his/her community.

    And so it is true for the micro-farmer at the homestead in Port St Johns in rural Eastern Cape through to the community garden initiative in urban Khayelitsha in the Western Cape: all require ongoing, uninterrupted support. And as many sound instances in these areas are demonstrating, long-term funding support is producing real, deep and meaningful change in the lives of beneficiaries:

    A culture of growing one’s own food is re-entrenched, with a small but growing minority of beneficiaries now making a living from their food gardens – earning enough money to send their kids to functional schools and to save for the future;
    They are also providing good, healthy produce to their immediate community at a fair price thus simultaneously increasing that community’s food security directly, and, reducing that community’s carbon footprint (growing vegetable gardens organically sinks carbon, and, growing it locally means much less fossil fuels burnt transporting it to market).

    This is not pie in the sky idealism. This is real, and the results are demonstrable. However, the incidence of success is far too small in the face of the need in our country. We require a countrywide movement in support of home and community food gardening, and the movement needs patrons who are in it for the long term. Every community deserves and should have an opportunity to engage with the possibilities that food gardening provides – from the Nelson Mandela Metro to the Winnie Mandela informal settlement. This reach requires much greater levels of investment and commitment from the South African corporate social investment community.

    Designed expertly, managed efficiently and funded earnestly, food security projects in South Africa will lay the foundation of a prosperous nation for all. The seemingly out of place ugly duckling will, in time and with support, grow to be the swan.

    - Graeme Wilkinson is a senior CSI Practitioner at Tshikululu Social Investments specialising in sustainable livelihoods and community development. It is republished here with the permission of Tshikululu Social Investment .

    Graeme Wilkinson
  • Health Services for the EC Community

    According to MTN South Africa Foundation, access to healthcare is of critical importance to the development of the community.

    The head of MTN SA Foundation, Eunice Maluleke, points out that, “Good health, dependable infrastructure, quality education and opportunities for entrepreneurship is all necessary for individuals, families and ultimately, the stability of the entire community.”

    As part of this objective, the Foundation has offered the Fort Beaufort community in Eastern Cape an opportunity to screen for lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and HIV, conducted in partnership with the local clinic, hospital and NGOs.

    To read the article titled, MTN brings health services to Fort Beaufort community,” click here.
    My Broadband
  • Win or Lose? Nationalisation of Mines and the Nonprofit Sector

    The Freedom Charter signed and sealed in June 1955 stated that the people shall share in the country’s wealth and more importantly ‘The mineral wealth below the soil, the banks, and monopoly industries shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole”. There has been rekindled talk for the nationalisation of South African mines by sections of the ruling party who believe that the time is now ripe to put this item onto the African National Congress agenda for the 2012 Centenary Conference and for this ultimately to become government policy.

    How will nationalisation be good news for NPOs in South Africa?

    As things are today it is not government policy nor is it, according to various reports, the ANC’s national executive committee’s immediate concern. Yet, should this proposal be taken to the next level of debate we need to ask what would be the deal for the nonprofit sector and how will the ruling party engage with the sector on this vital issue?

    There are an estimated 160 000 nonprofit organisations operating in South Africa comprising of non-government organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), faith based organisations (FBOs), education institutions, sports clubs, etc, that employ more than one million people. A further five million citizens volunteer their talents and energy towards the implementation of good works in communities through these structures. Collectively they can stimulate the economy in raising funds and self-generated income by R18 billion per annum. There is no doubt that this is a powerful and important force for the fulfillment of social justice and the safe-keeping of democracy.

    Nonprofit organisations play a crucial role in society. These organisations, whether large or small, meet a diverse range of social and spiritual needs by caring for the sick and vulnerable, responding to disasters, developing communities, protecting the environment or educating youth and adults. They are a source of inspiration and their enthusiasm for a better world is contagious. A smart government would consult and seek their wisdom on such a contentious issue as nationalisation.

    Currently a high number of NPOs secure a portion of their income through corporate social investment (CSI). During 2009 (as stated in 12th Edition of The CSI Handbook) over R5.1 billion of private sector funding flowed towards NPO projects and programmes for education, job creation, health, community development, food security, arts and culture, sport, housing, the environment and many other services. Of this total it is stated that the mining and quarrying industries contribute on average 20 percent and spend significantly more on CSI than any other industrial sector. The mining sector is obliged by law to support local economic development (LED) in the communities in which they operate and from where they draw their labour. LED initiatives are frequently integrated with CSI budgets.

    CSI in South Africa has shown a steady annual 10 percent growth over the past 14 years and there is no doubt that government’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard has enthused more support, a trend that we can expect to continue, according to experts.

    President of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising, Zai Miller, stated that “The affects that nationalisation might have on CSI is something we haven’t considered as we don’t think the government will take this idea further, but NPOs need to ensure we remain relevant if this does gain support.”

    For the benefit of taking this argument forward let us assume that the monies accrued by nationalised mines could run into billions of Rands. How will government allocate funds and more specifically how could funds flow to NPOs? Could it be via various government ministries such as education, health, social development and then contracting of NPOs for service delivery? Or through a distribution point such as the National Development Agency? Or will it be so big that it requires the establishment of an NPO Ministry?

    Or could this mean that a majority of NPOs will simply fall away as government steels up its structures and acquires sufficient resources to address all our social issues and competently provide all that is needed to address poverty and inequality making altruistic services from the voluntary sector redundant?

    So who is doing the blustering and why?

    The key proponent for this move towards nationalisation of the mines is ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, who has stated that mining companies don’t plough enough back into communities and that he believes this can be done more expediently through the State machinery.

    The nonprofit sector will need to challenge his thinking and so, logically, will the mining houses.

    CEO of Tshikululu Social Investments, Tracey Henry, a management agency of CSI funds for nine companies, mostly in the mining and financial sectors, that managed CSI grantmaking funds of R495 million on behalf of client companies during 2009, said that “Anglo American alone, disbursed R80 million in CSI funds during 2008 to more than 250 community projects and a further R400-odd million was spent by the company on other CSI initiatives via their operations. This is a substantial investment towards economic transformation in the country”.

    Other empowerment initiatives of the company include the Anglo Zimele enterprise development unit, supporting the creation of 228 businesses with a collective turnover of R1.3 billion and jobs for more than 10 400 people. Procurement deals are made with HDI’s (historically disadvantaged South Africans) to the tune of R24.6 billion a year.

    Another mining champion for development is African Rainbow Minerals that contributed R60 million towards community upliftment and social investment in 2009. Of this, R19.3 million was spent on CSI, R22 million on Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) and R28 million on local economic development (LED), according to their 2009 annual report.

    The above examples of good corporate citizenship demonstrate that Malema’s concerns are unfounded and that the ‘people’ are already benefitting from resources below the earth.

    When asked about Malema’s proposal at a foreign investors meeting, Minister Susan Shabangu of the Department of Mineral Resources said “Not in my lifetime … it’s not going to happen” and she further argued that for the state to become involved in such a precarious industry it will have to be efficient, it will have to demonstrate competency.

    History is fraught with good and bad stories. Did NPOs benefit?

    The risks and advantages of nationalisation are constantly debated around the world but it seems that mining is the riskiest and dirtiest of all. Probably due to an ongoing need for reinvestment in new equipment and technology and pressure from labour movements for higher safety standards. Trillions of Rands have already been plunged into the growth and development of mining, which is never ending.

    For more than 150 years the French Government has had an on-off-on romance with nationalisation. They have coupled with various sectors like banking, car manufacturing, telecommunications, electricity supply, the Paris’s underground Metro system and more. But State-owned mines are now history as demands for crippling subsidies put a strain on the French economy. Efforts were successful to coerce the private sector in taking these millstones from around their necks. Today France is rated as the number one country on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) and it is to be noted that this country has a rapidly growing and very feisty NPO sector.

    Another good example of nationalisation for people development is Sweden, a social democratic welfare state that is also a monarchy. They nationalised an iron ore mining company, LKAB, in 1950. All surpluses from this vibrant globally active enterprise enriched the Swedish socialist system for better education, health care, social services, public transport, pension funds and so forth which makes it a desirable country to live in and rated as number seven on the UN HDI. Since the economic downturn LKAB has been seeking to raise capital for new ventures and in order to do this they restructured last year into a public company. Sweden also has a vibrant and active nonprofit sector mostly in the arts, culture and recreation areas but higher education institutions such as Umeå University, one of the oldest in the country, have dynamic fundraising programmes.

    In Africa we have learned many lessons about the challenges of nationalisation. In Botswana the State has benefitted through ownership of mines that has assisted in the development of the people but more needs to be done in meeting the needs of communities and alleviating poverty. The NPO sector remains small in that country but it is lively and reliant on the private sector and individuals for donations. Other countries like Zambia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo tell us that this model just isn’t a good fit in the mining industry where the deepest and most sophisticated mines require the highest level of expertise in engineering, management, marketing and care of assets.

    A number of state-owned and public enterprises work closely with community-based organisations. The Eskom Development Foundation, Transnet and Telkom Foundation have demonstrated a commitment to social-economic development and spent R222 million on CSI last year engaging numerous NPOs.

    A very old state-owned enterprise, *Komatiland Forests (KLF), with a bi-line stating “Growth through Partnership”, neatly sums up their philosophy for engagement with NPOs. They have a very inspiring corporate social investment policy and last year spent R8 million on CSI, a further R2 million on bursaries for students and they also offer in-house Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) and wellness programmes for employees. According to Hazel Banda, who manages their CSI Fund within the Human Resource Department, “We work extensively with NPOs and communities in close proximity to our operations and our CSI allocation is integral to our operational budget.”

    An ideal model for a developmental state seems to be something along these lines where the State, the private sector and civil society take equal responsibility for meeting social needs.

    Research indicates that nationalisation can be a solid move in some countries but it has a limited life cycle and is dependent upon the choice of commodity such as the Venezuelan experience in the Orinoco oil fields. This has not addressed poverty on the ground but it has enabled the State to balance its books and create a number of jobs.

    As a nation we need to ask: can we take this step of nationalisation when so many other burning issues are on the agenda for development of our people? If this call by the ANCYL is a move to fight poverty, then it lacks substance and shows no real evidence to support its attempt.

    Should the nationalisation proposal be taken seriously, then the NPO sector will need to be consulted by government (and for that matter the ANC) on such a drastic and risky move as it and millions of beneficiaries stand to go into free fall. We can’t afford a dip of R1 billion in annual CSI spend either temporary or permanently.

    NPOs will need to forearm themselves and be well-prepared with questions for engagement on this subject. Some of these questions to be tackled could include:
    • How will nationalisation be good news for NPOs?
    • Will the current level of CSI be increased or even maintained?
    • Will community/social development funds become a regular budget item of a state owned and managed enterprise?
    • Will surpluses derived be ploughed into Treasury to booster budgets in government departments - social development, health, education, environment, arts and culture, etc. for partnerships with NPOs?
    • Will surpluses derived be managed through a distribution point such as the National Development Agency to NPOs?
    • Will there be a new independent NPO Ministry?
    • And finally: Is it possible that some NPOs will be compromised and so close down?
    *South Africa Forest Company Limited (SAFCOL)) is 100 percent shareholder in Komatiland Forest. SAFCOL reports to the Department of Public Enterprise.

    - Ann Bown is a consultant at Charisma Communications. Bown is a consultant to the nonprofit sector on matters of sustainability, fundraising and public relations.
    Ann Bown
  • Where Were You

    Where were you
    is the cheery question
    asked of me by security
    at Lansdowne library

    As if security is not
    a human being like
    the rest of us
    claim we all are
    in the food chain

    Where were you
    took me quite aback
    as I did not think
    anyone would observe
    my non-attendance
    (least of all security)

    Where were you
    no PC upgrades done
    contrary to expectation
    the city works for you
    just up your street

    (Me paying for the
    somewhere else
    in the town
    connectivity is everything
    as you may well

    (A banter soon
    about the colony’s
    and wind he was not used
    he coming from the

    Where were you
    taking security for
    taking a human being for granted
    taking the Internet for
    taking technology
    for granted

    Where were you
    might take you
    on a interesting turn

    Highly amused am I,
    at the library’s security guy’s enquiry of me, and the conversations that ensued, 14-15 April 2010, post my absconding.

    - David Kapp,
  • Tshikululu Social Investments

    To be the recognised leading social investment managers in Southern Africa.
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