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Tracking a decade of trends in South African corporate social investment

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Despite uncertainty and tougher trading conditions in almost every sector of the economy, corporate South Africa continues to demonstrate its commitment to corporate social investment (CSI).

CSI expenditure in South Africa was estimated to be worth R8.6 billion in 2016, significantly up from R2.9 billion in 2006.

This is according to Trialogue Director Cathy Duff, who was addressing delegates at the tenth annual Business in Society Conference, taking place in Johannesburg 16-17 May 2017. Discussing trends over the past 10 years, Ms Duff shared research in which 82 companies and 219 non-profit organisations participated in 2016.

Until 2013, Trialogue consistently found that total CSI expenditure was growing in real terms. In 2014 and 2015 however, CSI expenditure experienced negative growth in real terms, and growth was flat in 2016.

Increase in non-cash giving

Non-cash giving as a portion of total CSI spend increased over the 10 year period – from 6% in 2006 to 13% in 2016.

Product and service donations accounted for the vast majority of this. In 2016, 29 companies reported figures for these donations, equal to 19% of their total giving. By comparison, 11 companies quantified the value of their employees’ volunteering time, which accounted for less than 1% of total giving.

Geographic focus on economic hubs

CSI expenditure continues to be concentrated nationally (32% in 2009; 37% in 2016), in Gauteng (29% in 2009; 20% in 2016), and in the Western Cape (6% in 2009; 11% in 2016). In 2016, companies gave to an average of three provinces compared to four in 2015.

Only 13% of respondents reported international giving in 2016 and spent 4% of their CSI expenditure on such interventions.

Education key focus

Education continues to receive the most support, with over 90% of companies supporting the sector in 2016, and its share of CSI spend increasing from 33% in 2006 to 48% in 2016. It is followed by support for community development (17% of CSI spend in 2006; 15% in 2016) and health (which has received a declining share of spend – from 16% in 2006 to 9% in 2016).

Within education, most funding continues to go to school-level education (51% in 2016, 53% in 2007). Support for early childhood development has increased from 11% of education spend in 2007 to 17% in 2016.

Less funding to NPOs

Although NPOs remained the favorite channel through which corporates directed their CSI expenditure, the proportion of respondents giving to NPOs declined from a high of 100% in 2014 to 82% in 2016.

“For the first time, the proportion of CSI funding going to NPOs is below half of total spend (45%), significantly lower than in 2011 (57%).”

Corporate support for government institutions (including schools, universities, hospitals and clinics) increased in 2016 with 80% of corporates giving to these organisations, which received over a third of total CSI spend (34%). This was significantly up from 27% in 2011. Such support includes scholarships and bursaries.

Increase in volunteering

In 2007 less than half (46% of companies) had formal volunteering policies. In 2016, 70% of companies had a formal employee volunteering programme.

Company-organised volunteering initiatives were the most common type of initiative, with 84% of corporates running these in 2016, up from 52% in 2011. An average of 18% of employees participated in company-organised volunteering initiatives.

Leading companies

Anglo American has retained its position as the company perceived to be having the most developmental impact – and was rated first in 2007 and in 2016. Other companies that have been in the top 10 across the years include SAB, Old Mutual, MTN and Telkom.

More strategic CSI

Over the 10 year period companies have become more strategic in their social investment, which has become more closely aligned to the business and more focused. An increasing number of companies are aiming to achieve both social and business impact from their CSI expenditure.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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A mix of marriages

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So many ways to say ‘I do”

Weddings are one of the most universal traditions on the planet yet they are celebrated differently by everyone. Tying the knot in any culture comes with a list of different rituals and traditions and, family dynamics aside, there are many more things to consider and prepare for, especially here in South Africa – with our eleven official languages, chiefs, dominees and gogos to consider, it can be tough task marrying two cultures without offending Aunty Mabel.

Despite the umpteen different cultures or religions you may have to incorporate into your ceremony, it is important not to forget to showcase your own personalities – after all, it is ‘your’ day and it is exactly your differences, and similarities, that brought you together that should now be celebrated – for instance, playing your favourite song and teaching Chief Nkomu how to do the shuffle, or giving personalized chocolates as wedding favours instead of the traditional bag of sugar-coated almonds.

And you don’t have to do it all at the ceremony and reception – after an open, honest chat with the family, consider spreading the different traditions. You could plan the ceremony around the bride’s heritage and turn the reception into a celebration of the groom’s.   Or, host the bachelor or bachelorette party incorporating an element from each other’s customs.  It’s the perfect occasion to try umqombothi (beer), used to celebrate the home-coming of young men in Xhosa culture, or the Lebanese tradition of zaffe, a rowdy escort of music, dancing and shouting by the groom’s friends and family.  For the bride there is the Japanese ritual of pouring saki to reaffirm friendships or the time-honoured tradition of giving “something borrowed, something blue”.

Catering: A little more challenging is serving a traditional meal, because in many cases the menu is limited by the venue, so if a customized menu is not possible try incorporating signature drinks like saki for a Japanese reception or chai instead of coffee for an Indian wedding.

The cake: Traditional Norwegian wedding cakes are made with bread and cheese, and Russian couples share a wedding sweetbread called karavaya which is decorated with wheat for prosperity and interlocking rings for faithfulness, or you could just go with what’s currently on trend.

Wedding invitations: Another way to respect a different culture – for example, the Jewish tradition – is to send a two-sided invitation, with one side written in Hebrew and the other in English.  Couples are favoring digital invites these days where guests can rsvp on line.

Banqueting manager at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, Dumisane Zondo, says they have hosted several multi-cultural weddings specifically between Christian and Zulu faiths and culture, and the dynamic has resulted in some of the most creative and special occasions.  A lovely add-on in the Zulu tradition is when the bride gives out blankets to her new family after the wedding, in a ceremony that is known as ukwaba.  Zondo adds, “My favourite part is the dance-off between the families of the bride and groom.”

Some interesting wedding traditions –

As well as exchanging rings, African tradition sees the couple have their wrists tied together by grass or material.

In China, brides pick not one wedding dress, but three!

Before an Indian bride gets married, her family and friends decorate her hands with elaborate designs called menhdi.

Bridesmaids were originally used as decoy brides – through having their dresses similar and standing next to the bride, the spirits who they believed would sabotage the newly-weds’ happiness would be confused.

During the entire wedding day, Congolese brides and grooms are not allowed to smile.

In the Phillipines, the bride and groom release a pair of white doves.

Some sort of leap over a broom is also popular in a number of cultures.

But, when it comes to love and weddings, there are no borders, so enjoy the preparation leading up to your ‘I do’, ‘Ngiyavuma’, ‘Je fais’ or ‘Main karata hoon’ and remember to have fun!

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Small Business Indaba to focus on manufacturing sector

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SMMEs are a driving force in South Africa’s social and economic transition and have attracted increasing attention because of their labour-absorptive capacity and potential to grow and stimulate the economy.

More than a third of young South Africans in the labour force are unemployed. This statistic creates a significant gap that can be filled by the development of small business professionals and entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector. SMMEs are reported to resolve the persistent problems of insufficient employment growth while being highly efficient in flexibly serving increasingly segmented consumer markets.

Understanding the small manufacturer’s point of view on manufacturing issues requires an understanding of the markets for their products, along with many common issues of interest to small manufacturers that need to be addressed. The Small Business Indaba provides a platform for SMME’s to connect with the big players in South Africa’s manufacturing industries as well as an opportunity to learn how to grow and manage their businesses.

Leveraging on the success and partnership of the National Manufacturing Indaba, the Small Business Indaba – complete with nationally recognised manufacturing experts, government policymakers and innovators – provides the small business owner with informative keynotes, interactive panels, one-on-one brainstorming and hands-on networking – everything that the manufacturing entrepreneur needs to address their changing business landscapes.

The Small Business Indaba will take place on the 26th June 2017 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni alongside the Manufacturing Indaba with the main objective being to provide manufacturing entrepreneurs and SMMEs with the tools, networking opportunities and an unparalleled platform to establish their businesses for success and grow their manufacturing operations to the next level of innovation and job creation.

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Race Recovery Tips with Caroline Wöstmann

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Powerade’s ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ aims to provide athletes with the tools to achieve a personal best time and will be working with a number of South Africa’s foremost running, cycling and training experts to challenge athletes to beat their best in 2017.

Multiple Two Oceans Marathon and Comrades Marathon champion Caroline Wöstmann shares her tips on race recovery:

Like all things in life, finding the balance between training and recovery is incredibly important for a runner. When you lose that balance, you often end up injured. You will often find yourself looking at your training load and thinking “well, it is the same as it was last year, so I should manage it again”. But you do not take into account what is going on in the rest of your life and the effect that has on your body and you forget about rest and recovery. Training is only part of the formula.

If you are having a stressful week, rather back off on training – do less mileage or no high intensity speed work because your body can only deal with so much. Physical training is physical stress – if you have emotional stress as well, your body will not recover properly. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or are waking up during the night, it is a sign you have too much stress. Listen to your body.

The scope of your recovery depends on how much your training load is. You do not have to do as intensive recovery if you are not training as intensely. Making sure you get enough sleep is important. If you are training 200km a week, you should ideally have a nap during the day, after getting a solid 8 hours at night. I take a 1-hour nap in the day between my morning and evening sessions.

The second most important thing after sleep, is nutrition. If you are expending huge amounts of energy and missing a meal, your body does not have anything to rebuild with. You need to replace what you are expending, being careful not to eat too much, which can mean you put on weight. I find it is important that I eat something immediately after my session – ideally within 15-45 minutes.

In an ideal world, you will be able to take some time off work to focus on training and recovery. If you have big goals, taking a couple of weeks off after your heaviest training load means you will have more time to recover – and the time away should lower all the other stresses in your life, too.

Having an ice bath after a quality session really helps recovery, but I would only recommend doing that after a hard race or a long run, because it is not fun for anyone. It is only for when you are pushing your body to extremes. The optimal time seems to be immersing yourself for 10 minutes, at 8-12 degrees. Sports massage works well too – a 30-60 min massage every week loosens up the muscles.

Tapering is important to the recovery process too. Once you’ve done all the training, tapering reduces the load and gives the body more time to recover – and recovery makes you stronger.

For more information on ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ visit www.powerade.co.za , the official hydration partner of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

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