Research from Trialogue shows that South African companies spent around R9 billion on corporate social investment (CSI) in the 2016/7 financial year.
This represents a real increase of around 105% over their spending 20 years ago, highlighting the fact that black economic empowerment and corporate citizenship are more of a priority than ever before.
With companies worldwide under pressure to show that they create value for society over-and-above the returns they generate for shareholders, CSI spending in South Africa is likely to keep growing. CSI benefits companies in numerous ways:
• Builds employee morale and motivation
• Attracts investment
• Secures goodwill from communities, regulators and government
• Enhances corporate reputation
Unlocking these benefits, however, depends on high-level executive support and a strategic approach. The challenge for local businesses is to align CSI more closely with the core business and to measure and communicate its outcomes more effectively to shareholders, regulators, communities and other stakeholders.
Whilst CSI can be beneficial to companies and the value associated with the CSI initiatives needs to be unlocked in a more optimal fashion, it is important to also think of CSI through the lens of the impact a small investment in the right project or cause can have on a community or fellow South African.
Allocating CSI funding to initiatives that cater for basic human needs can serve to alleviate suffering and aid upliftment in South Africa. Organisations that are in a position to do so, should seek to find the causes that will benefit South Africans, whether it be through education, poverty relief, the improvement of working or living conditions or even mentoring and coaching small businesses to move them in the right direction.
Where and how CSI spend, time and effort is allotted can have a significant impact on the lives of those around us and can have a positive knock-on effect for years to come if managed with the community lens in mind.
Back to trends or view more trends below