We scored 7.11 out of 8 for the socioeconomic development and consumer education pillar. This is a significant improvement in comparison to 5.18 out of 8 points in 2017. This element measures the annual value of the bank’s qualifying socioeconomic development contributions as a percentage of net profit after tax (NPAT), together with the annual value of all qualifying consumer education contributions as a percentage of NPAT of our retail business (PBB SA). The Financial Sector Code requires us to spend 0.6% of NPAT on socioeconomic development, and 0.4% of retail (personal and business banking) NPAT on consumer education. In 2018, Standard Bank’s total spend on socioeconomic development was 0.88% of NPAT and spend on consumer education was 0.42% of retail NPAT.
Standard Bank focuses our socioeconomic development investment in education, with the objective of enhancing access to quality education for all, from early childhood development to higher education, and improving educational outcomes. We also invest in arts, culture and sports development. In 2018, our total investment in socioeconomic development initiatives (our corporate social investment spending) amounted to R141.2 million. Of this amount, education spend accounted for just under R96.6 million, or about 68% of the total.
Extensive empirical research has demonstrated that developmental stimulation during the earliest years of childhood are critical to future intellectual, emotional and physical wellbeing. In South Africa, Standard Bank supports early childhood development (ECD) through a number of targeted initiatives that upskill ECD practitioners to a level at which they can achieve a certified qualification, which enables them to register their ECD centres with the Department of Social Development.
Without a solid grounding in numeracy, literacy and life-skills in the foundation phase of schooling, children will struggle to perform to their full potential in further schooling and higher education. Standard Bank corporate social investment (CSI) works in partnership with a range of organisations across seven provinces to improve the teaching of foundation skills through a focus on upskilling teachers in numeracy, literacy and life-skills teaching, largely though in-classroom mentoring by skilled and experienced retired educators. In some instances, the mentoring is supplemented with workshops, the provision of learner workbooks and literacy workshops for parents.
We also fund the Little African Scientist Project, which forms part of the teacher development programme run by the Faculty of Education at North West University. It aims to support foundation phase teachers in mathematics and science education.
Our focus is primarily on supporting the teaching of mathematics and science through teacher upskilling, Saturday school programmes and other programmes which aim to prepare high-school learners for tertiary education through a focus on academic support together with leadership skills, self-mastery and study skills.
In 2018, we invested in:
- Participation of 50 learners from six schools in three provinces in the Wits University Targeting Talent Programme, which engages with learners from Grade 10 through to 12 to support university readiness.
- Ongoing participation in the National Education Collaboration Trust, a collaboration between businesses, labour, civil society and government to influence and support the implementation of government’s education reform agenda in primary and secondary schools.
Standard Bank aims to improve access to student funding for tertiary education. Initiatives in this area include our crowdfunding Feenix platform, together with direct funding through Standard Bank bursaries and scholarships.
We launched the Feenix Trust, an NPO, in June 2017. It is an initiative that allows individuals and enterprises to donate money directly to students to help them complete their studies. Crowdfunding platforms like Feenix allow ordinary citizens to take meaningful action to solve social problems, with 75% of the fund allocated to black recipients, and 50% to women. Standard Bank is a funder, enabler and partner of the trust, which retains and manages funds from donors. The trust allows individuals and enterprises to donate money to universities on behalf of selected students.
Student access to funding.
Feenix crowdfunding platform enables individuals and companies to donate money directly to universities on behalf of selected students.
Standard Bank covered set-up and operating cost shortfalls.
We covered the set-up costs and will cover any shortfall between the total operating costs and the income received from the admin fee charged to funders. We have a three year commitment to the project, which we expect to become selfsustaining. Feenix has raised R22 million thus far, providing support for 800 tertiary students, funding 650 students in 2018. Standard Bank employees have contributed R850 000 of this amount. The Feenix Trust owns the Feenix.org domain, ensuring professional and accountable handling of all funds raised and disbursed. Feenix won the Public Intellectual Influencer Brand Award at the 2018 Brand Summit South Africa and was recognised by Next Generation in their 2018 Innovation and Impact Research Report as a leader of the pack.
Our bursary programmes support deserving students to obtain degrees in critical skills areas. In 2018, we funded 296 bursaries for students at South African universities, to the value of R35.7 million. Standard Bank directly awarded and managed 130 of these bursaries and 166 were funded through the Ikusasa Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP). ISFAP is a public-private partnership between government and corporates, aimed specifically at addressing the funding gap for the so-called ‘missing middle’.
In 2018, 12 of our bursary recipients who graduated in 2017 were employed by Standard Bank.
Standard Bank and the University of Johannesburg have partnered to support ten exceptional students through their undergraduate and post-graduate studies, through the Actuationist programme. Two of these students started their careers at Standard Bank in 2019.
Standard Bank provides funding to support the development of cricket in South Africa. In 2018, we provided R9.3 million in support of cricket development (rights and leverage costs). We partner with Cricket South Africa to support the development of young cricketers at school level. We recognise that to support integration, and transform the sport at national team level, we need to address inequalities in the foundation feeder system.
In 2018, we sponsored 12 regional performance centres (RPC) across the country, all in previously disadvantaged areas, to grow the pipeline of future stars. The RPC programme focuses on players aged between 13 and 18. To date 144 talented young cricketers from all over South Africa have benefited.
We also sponsor the Ironman programme, and invested R250 000 to support Siyaphambili, a triathlon development participation programme.
Standard Bank supports a range of initiatives to nurture young talent and showcase the rich diversity of our creative arts. We’re proud to provide ongoing support for a variety of major arts events, which have become highlights of South Africa’s cultural calendar.
In 2018, we sponsored the National Arts Festival to the value of R11.1 million. The festival contributes around R377 million to the Eastern Cape’s GDP, and R94 million to the GDP of Makhanda, previously the city of Grahamstown. Our sponsorship included funding for:
- The Standard Bank Young Artist Award programme – four of the six winners were black artists
- The Creativate Digital Arts Festival – five of 33 events (15%) involved black artists/exhibitors/lecturers
- Standard Bank Village Green project (craft market) – 62% of the 329 stall-holders were black, and 20% came from rural areas
- The Standard Bank Ovation Awards – 19 of the 34 winning productions (56%) were produced or performed by black artists
- The Children’s Arts Festival – our funding enabled 84 children to participate in the programme. 80% of the participating children were black, as were 76% of the children who participated in the boarding programme
- The Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Makhanda, including one of the biggest jazz development programmes in South Africa, the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival. 319 students participated in the youth programme, of whom 47% were black beneficiaries. 77% of the 94 musicians that participated in the festival were black.
In 2018 we celebrated 20 years of our sponsorship of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz which was held in Johannesburg. The sponsorship investment of R17 million includes hospitality for the artists, marketing, production expenses, payment to the artists, and funding for development projects. Our production partner for the event, T Musicman CC, is 100% black owned and other beneficiaries of the funding are 90% black. The festival contributes over R80 million to Gauteng’s GDP and approximately 3 119 jobs were created.
A 2018 study conducted by the World Bank on behalf of South Africa’s National Treasury highlighted the extent to which bank customers may find it difficult to access information about different products and fee structures, making it difficult for them to know whether they’re getting value for money and to identify the most appropriate solution for their particular needs. The report also noted that low-income customers often favour branch transactions and ATM withdrawals, despite these being considerably more expensive than digital transactional channels. Our WalletWise programme consumer education initiatives aim to empower our customers to manage their finances more effectively.
Standard Bank’s WalletWise aims to help people use financial services effectively and affordably, by providing clear and accessible information about financial products and services, and raising awareness of digital platforms and how to use them. The programme targets those with a household income of less than R15 000 per month, and includes content tailored for young people, small enterprises and people without formal bank accounts, with a focus on rural and non-metro areas. We also provide training for aspirant small businesses on basic business skills, and help struggling businesses to identify pitfalls and find ways around them through coaching. WalletWise raises awareness through edutainment, using print and digital media, social media, radio and television, community outreach, and in-branch training in selected communities. Content is provided in nine of South Africa’s official languages. In 2018, we spent R50.9 million on the programme, 0.42% of NPAT, and reached approximately 490 000 people.
In 2018, WalletWise provided classroom-based training for small business owners, aiming to empower participants to set up and manage sustainable businesses and create jobs:
- 1 600 aspiring entrepreneurs, on the basic skills and tools needed to start a business in a peri-urban community. Training took place across the country in peri-urban areas.
- 120 established SME owners, on how to streamline operations, grow their businesses and boost sustainability, including help with business plans, pricing and basic bookkeeping.
We also launched Plugged: Beyond the Conversation in 2018. It’s a platform led by 16- to 25-year olds who are prominent on social media. It enables discussion, capacity building, networking and action around issues that matter to the youth. During 2018, we engaged with students at six South African universities, running 60-minute Plugged: Beyond the Conversation sessions. The sessions were facilitated by individuals identified as youth influencers, recruited via a radio-based Plug Search campaign, and included participation by Standard Bank representatives. Discussions covered entrepreneurship, financial literacy, financial management and work readiness. Sessions were live streamed and tweeted to enable broad participation. We also provided booklets providing information on entrepreneurship, starting a business and building wealth.
Also see the section on financial inclusion.