Corporate social investment
The group is aware of its social responsibilities and believes it is crucial for businesses to play a positive role in the communities within which they operate. The group’s Corporate Social Investment (“CSI”) strategy is to focus on education and skills development initiatives and in this way align the transformation of South Africa’s previously disadvantaged individuals with the group’s business model.
The group has made financial contributions to a number of charitable organisations and causes during the period.
Significant contributions were made to the organisations and initiatives below.
Tshepang Educare Trust
The Tshepang Educare Trust is a non-profit organisation serving the interests of women and children in rural and disadvantaged areas. “Tshepang” which is a Sesotho word meaning “hope” supports women and children on farms, informal settlements and small towns throughout the eastern Free State. Their target group is rural women and children who do not have many developmental or educational opportunities.
For women, the recognition received through training improves their self-esteem which contributes immensely to their ability to be leaders in matters which affect women and children in their generally male dominated communities. Training capacitates women to earn a living through opening their own pre-schools, or gaining employment in existing Early Childhood Development (“ECD”) centres. Tshepang has trained women in early childhood development, financial management, community training and parenting programmes and also prepares children for learning in formal education and primary schools.
ICT Innovative in School Education
The group has continued its support of the University of the Free State’s ICT Innovative in School Education project which aims to:
• provide innovative, sustainable ICT-related support to both in-service and pre-service teachers;
• improve and support the quality of teaching and learning in schools;
• research innovative ICT methods to be used in the South African educational system; and
• maximise the potential of the latest ICT developments.
The group provides an annual sponsorship to the University of the Free State for the establishment and management of a support service that provides teachers, learners and parents with subject-related advice. In order to provide this service a centre has been established and expert teachers are contracted to provide professional support. All support given to schools is done in collaboration with the Free State Department of Education.
The Monyetla Project is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with the mission to assist top grade 12 achievers from previously disadvantaged communities to qualify for bursaries for tertiary education. The word “monyetla” means “opportunity” in Sesotho. The initiative was established in February 2007 and every year the top 20 learners from different schools are invited to be part of an elite group of students assisted by some of the most experienced educators in the Free State. Last year the Monyetla students obtained a total of 92 distinctions with some learners scoring in the 90% range for subjects such as mathematics, accounting and physics. Recent contributions will be used to sponsor the top students in maths and accounting of three different schools to attend the Saturday School presented at the University of the Free State. They will join the top 20 learners of 30 other schools who are all part of the project.
Ubambiswano is a St Andrews School for Girls Initiative that aims to improve the quality of education in South Africa. This non-profit organisation is committed to playing an active role in transforming society and to making a meaningful contribution to education by addressing some of the critical needs of learners and teachers in the areas of Daveyton and Etwatwa, in the Gauteng Province. The contribution will be used for the Daveyton Educational Programme (“DEP”) which is a Saturday School for grade 6 to grade 12 learners.
Township Vegetable Tunnel Project – Spoudazo
Spoudazo Enterprises Trust is a registered Public Benefit Organization, the purpose of which is to enhance the interests of the poor and vulnerable, to further their interests and wellbeing by means of providing them with welfare, humanitarian assistance, health care, land and housing, education and development services. Raubex has partnered with Spoudazo Enterprises in implementing a model for the growth of vegetables in Phase 7 located in Mangaung in the heart of the Free State. This involves setting up vegetable tunnels for individual households in addition to offering training and mentoring for a period of 6 – 12 months. The focus of this project is not only to ensure food security for these households but to establish an economic system within their communities. Spoudazo is in the process of equipping them with the necessary vegetable growing skills that will aid them in earning an income, not only from the selling of their crops but also by sharing in the responsibilities of the setup and mentoring process of other tunnels in their communities.