Oct 18, 2012
Big SA firms spend at least R2m each on supporting educationBack
Engineering|Africa|Education|NBI|Projects|Sanlam Group|Africa|South Africa|Equipment|Infrastructure|Joanne Yawitch|Marianne Scott
© Reuse this
About 70% of the larger firms allocated funding to learner support programmes, while 65% and 63% also supported teachers’ professional development and the provision of equipment respectively. Over 60% assisted schools with the development or provision of learning and reading material.
The Sanlam-sponsored indicative survey, released this week, found that nonfinancial support included introducing senior learners to the workplace, followed by supplying volunteers to mentor learners and school staff, and supporting school nutrition programmes. Another favourite among the large corporations was volunteering staff for clean-up campaigns.
Looking to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the NBI report indicated that 53% of the smaller firms spent less than R50 000 during the year, with another 27% spending between R50 000 and R100 000 supporting education.
Allocations by SMEs included 35% providing equipment and 21% supplying professional support for financial management. Twenty per cent of the SMEs contributed towards infrastructure, with another 18% supporting learner support programmes.
Nonfinancial contributions from SMEs included 17% introducing senior learners to the workplace, 14% supporting school nutrition programmes and publicising career opportunities, and 11% providing staff for staff/learner mentorships.
Most companies cited national priorities, such as improving educational outcomes and tackling poverty, as the motivator behind the corporate social investment (CSI) supporting education. Others undertook educational support programmes to deal with skills shortages.
The findings of the survey revealed that large companies were increasingly starting to support pre- and primary schools, as recent research pointed to the importance of early childhood development, NBI schooling director Marianne Scott told Engineering News Online.
Large company support was relatively high for secondary schools at 78%, followed by primary schools at 72% and preschools at 65%.
She added that the survey provided a platform to examine the CSI challenges, such as lack of progress and accountability, difficulties rolling out set strategies for funding and inefficient use of funding. The findings would also allow a renewed focus on how to mitigate the challenges to ensure the full impact of the support provided.
However, there was a requirement for boards to get more intensely involved in the projects by becoming more aware of whether their contribution made a difference, and increasing their focus on where to invest and where more attention was needed to ensure the higher impact of their support.
Recognising the significant role that business continued to play and could play in supporting education, the NBI and its member companies embarked on a Learning Partnership Network journey in 2010.
“The Learning Partnership Network, with Sanlam as leader and founder funder, is geared towards enhancing the collective impact of private sector investment in schooling,” said NBI CEO Joanne Yawitch.
The programme focused on strengthening the relationship between the private sector, government and other partners with the aim of improving the quality of education in South Africa.
“We believe it is our collective efforts as corporates, government, NGOs and other stakeholders that will achieve the most significant impact in the improved quality of education,” added Sanlam Group acting executive head of corporate affairs Lebo Monyatsi.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
Other Economy News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...