Our approach to CSI is not only about philanthropy but also about implementing projects that benefit the communities in which we operate. In each of our countries of operation, we take into account the priority needs identified by government and society, and shape our CSI programmes accordingly. Our primary focus is on investment in education ‘from birth to graduation’. A specific example of this is our focus on early childhood development (ECD), described on page 31. In each country of operation, our expenditure on CSI projects should amount to around 1% of net profit after tax.
In 2015, due to improvements in tracking and reporting CSI spend across all of our countries of operation, we reported CSI expenditure of R172,8 million (2014: R114,6 million). In South Africa, where we have at least one key project in every province, 71% of this amount was spent on education and scholarships.
Employee Matching initiative
In South Africa, our Employee Matching initiative encourages employees to support non-profit organisations through monetary contributions. Standard Bank CSI matches financial contributions made by Standard Bank employees, rand for rand. Employees may make individual contributions, or can work together to make group donations. In 2015, approximately 140 organisations were supported by employees in SA through the matching initiative with the group matching their contribution to the value of more than R1,5 million.
Employee community involvement
A range of employee community involvement initiatives are in place to provide employees with opportunities to give back and actively participate in making a difference in the lives of others. Many employees have volunteered their skills and time in house build projects and school makeovers.
We have established a partnership with the Global Fund, an organisation that mobilises and invests nearly USD4 billion a year to support HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programmes run by experts in countries throughout the world. Meeting this gap by upskilling beneficiaries in financial terms makes sound strategic sense for SBG as a financial services organisation.
Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA)
We have supported the LCA since 2007. The LCA benefits, accelerates or brings about the protection of 20 million hectares of rain forests and selected eco-systems in sub-Saharan Africa by the year 2020, working in close partnership with local communities.
See the democracy support programme case study.
See the ECD case study.
Since 2004, SBG has sought to strengthen democracy in South Africa by making donations to political parties represented in the National Assembly, to help them effectively engage and represent the people of the country.
An amount of R13,5 million was allocated to the democracy support programme for the electoral cycle from 2009 to 2014. The annual donation to each party was calculated using a formula based on that used by the Independent Electoral Commission to allocate its party funding: 10% of the annual disbursement amount is divided equally between all parties represented in the National Assembly, and 90% is assigned in proportion to the number of seats held by each party. The disbursement for each party is doubled in the year of a general election, to assist with campaigning activities.
Every year, each party is required to account for the use of the funds. These reports indicated that the donations are used mainly for administrative costs and party campaign materials. In 2015, the mandate for the programme was renewed for the next five years. In 2015, we allocated a total of R2,2 million (2014: R4,2 million) as a contribution.
According to the World Health Organisation, the early childhood period is considered to be the most important developmental phase. What happens to the child in the early years is critical for the child’s developmental trajectory and life course.
Against this backdrop, investing in the professional development of ECD practitioners is recognised as the single most effective measure that can be introduced to improve educational outcomes. However, changing the teaching style of most educators can be difficult, needs intense classroom support and takes time. In South Africa, CSI has invested R15 million in the training of ECD practitioners to ensure children are given the best start to their education.