Oct 18, 2012
Big SA firms spend at least R2m each on supporting educationBack
Education|NBI|Sanlam Group|South Africa|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
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of 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 steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...