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SA companies put hands in their pockets to better lives


DURBAN - South African companies invested R9.7billion in corporate social investment (CSI) last year.

Leading local CSI and sustainability consultancy Trialogue has matched up its local research findings with those reported by its global partner, CECP: The CEO Force for Good, to find out how local companies compared to the rest of the world when it comes to corporate giving.

The AECI Wise Wayz Water Care programme, an innovative partnership between rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal and chemicals group AECI, to keep a 30km stretch of the eZimbokodweni River catchment area clean and free of alien vegetation, was a joint winner of the 2018 Trialogue Strategic CSI Award.

CSI spend grew in SA

Total estimated CSI spend grew 2.5% in real terms from 2017 to last year. The most common reason given for growth was project requirements. When spend declined, this was mostly attributed to decreasing profits.

SA’s giving as a percentage of revenue was the lowest among all regions

Most South African companies use net profit after tax (NPAT) ratios to calculate their CSI budgets.

They target 1% of NPAT, the amount needed to qualify for maximum BBBEE socio-economic development points. According to Trialogue’s primary research in 2017, local companies spent on average 1.1% of NPAT on CSI, down from 1.7% in 2015. Giving Around the Globe calculations indicate that South Africa’s giving is relatively low.

SA companies spend on education, health, community development

Education remained the most popular cause, followed by social and community development and healthcare. Trialogue’s 2018 research found that most local companies (67%) supported between 11 and 50 projects.

SA companies lead in measurement

Almost all companies (99%) measured the outputs of one or more of their CSI projects. More than two-thirds claimed to measure the impact of at least one project.

SA measures business value of employee engagement programmes

Community beneficiary benefit was the most commonly measured employee engagement benefit (55%) followed by benefits to NPOs (41%).

Companies offering pro bono services increased

The percentage of local companies offering pro bono services increased to 37% last year from 26% in 2017. The number of SA companies offering time off for staff doing volunteer work hours increased to 65% last year from 58% in 2017.

SA an outlier in international giving and volunteering

There were significant regional variations in giving to international end-recipients. Asia and Europe had the highest percentage, with Africa the lowest. The figures are even lower in Trialogue’s research: only 7% of South African companies surveyed last year supported projects outside South Africa.

Foreign companies support inter- national volunteering

African companies were the only ones that did not offer paid-release time to international employees.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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