We’ve exceeded our CSI spending goal but want to increase our spending on something that has gained in importance: feeding our people.
|Total Group social investment
including supplier and staff
|Total Group social investment
excluding supplier and staff
|Total investment in
(container kitchens, feeding schemes, vegetable tunnels, Foodbank)
|Total investment in icon projects
(tools-to-teach, tools-to-play, excellence in education awards, Men-on-the-Side of the Road, Massmart bursary scheme)
|Total investment in 'other' projects
(e.g. Starfish Foundation, Tomorrow Trust Wheelchair fund)
Note: Icon projects refer to chain specific educational programmes that address specific needs, such as early childhood development.
Each year Massmart renews its commitment to spending 1% of profit after tax on corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives. This year, we exceeded that goal by 0.60%, excluding supplier and staff contributions. Because we’ve done this at a time when many organisations are reducing their contribution to CSI programmes, we’re especially proud of our achievement. The increase in the level of our investment can be attributed mainly to the number of partnerships we’ve entered into with government related agencies and the fact that we launched a Massmart bursary scheme for disadvantaged African students.
Our bursary programme sponsors learners studying at the University of Pretoria to whom we’ve committed to providing five bursaries per year on a renewable but indefinite basis. These bursaries are available to African, mainly women students, who are studying towards BCom degrees. Each bursary covers the costs of tuition, textbooks, residence fees and meals. Bursary students also receive a monthly living allowance and they are able to join our OCSA primary healthcare plan.
Besides the bursaries, our focus on partnering with state organsations has resulted in many worthwhile donations, such as a gift of 8 304 emergency fluorescent portable lanterns to the South African Police Services (SAPS). We also distributed 500 stationery packs to the South African Police Services (SAPS) orphans and encouraged our suppliers to join us in filling 4 000 food hampers for South African National Defense Force (SANDF) troops serving under UN mandate in Africa.
While we are proud of our involvement in these important initiatives, we do not want to lose focus on the programmes we consider the most important: those that feed people. We believe feeding projects should receive the greatest share of our corporate social investment spend. Currently this is not the case, so we are exploring responsible disengagement strategies for some of our long-standing “other” legacy projects to reallocate these funds to feeding initiatives.
One important advance we did make in expanding our feeding involvement this year was the donation of 3,000 kg of Max-a-Meal to Foodbank South Africa, with a commitment to make an ongoing donation of 6,000 kg of this highly nutritious meal on an annual basis. We also launched a vegetable tunnel project through Builders Warehouse that delivered 90 vegetable tunnels to 30 schools in areas of need. These projects will now occupy a permanent place alongside our existing programme of feeding initiatives which include providing financial support to established feeding schemes and providing fully equipped container kitchens to disadvantaged schools.
To understand what CSI is capable of achieving, don’t look at what we’ve spent. Look at what we’ve spent it on.