The group is aware of its social responsibilities and believes it is crucial for businesses to play a positive role in the communities within which they operate. The group's CSI strategy is to focus on education and skills development initiatives and in this way align the transformation of South Africa’s previously disadvantaged individuals with the group's business model.
The group has made financial contributions to a number of charitable organisations and causes during the period.
Significant contributions were made to the organisations and initiatives below.
The Monyetla Project is a registered public benefit organisation with the mission to assist grade 12 learners from previously disadvantaged communities in the Free State, improve their results and afford them opportunities to qualify for bursaries and tertiary education. The word "monyetla" means "opportunity" in Sesotho. The initiative was established in February 2007 and currently offers additional classes for 10 subjects which are presented by one of the most experienced educators the province has to offer.
During the 2017 school year a total of 1 072 grade 12 learners attended the programme. This group of learners achieved an overall pass rate of 93%, including 110 distinctions, with 54% of the learners obtaining a bachelor’s pass. Special mention was given to Monyetla by the head of Free State education and the Free State MEC during a function held early in January 2018 where it was announced that the Free State achieved the best pass rate in South Africa for 2017.
Tshepang Educare Trust
The Tshepang Educare Trust is a nonprofit organisation serving the interests of women and children in rural and disadvantaged areas. "Tshepang" which is a Sesotho word meaning "hope", supports farms, informal settlements and small towns throughout the Eastern Free State to help children living in the disadvantaged communities in these areas get access to quality early childhood development ("ECD").
The problem facing many of the children living in these areas is the lack of any kind of pre-school education programme which results in them being at a great disadvantage when entering mainstream schooling at the age of seven years. In most cases, the children that are not exposed to this early childhood development never catch up and are therefore disadvantaged for life.
Tshepang’s main aim is to train members of these communities to run a successful crèche or ECD centre, based in these informal settlements. This empowers these individuals by giving them a chance to create a living through opening their own pre-schools, or gain employment in existing ECD centres and also exposes the young children in their communities to this vital form of education. Tshepang run an 18-month programme which provides graduates with a level 4 ECD certificate, authorised by ETDP SETA.
Tshepang also has a crèche for special needs children and has two mobile toy classrooms, which are taken to areas for children who cannot afford to attend a crèche. Employees of Tshepang also regularly visit areas to encourage parents to play constructively with their children and assist them in learning the basics required for school.
Currently for 2017 and 2018, Tshepang has 80 practitioners enrolled in the programme, training for their level 4 in early childhood development. Further to this it was noted that all graduates from 2016 have found employment with various early childhood development centres across the Eastern Free State. 2017 also saw Tshepang awarded an Impumulelo Bronze Medal, which is a national award, associated with the University of Stellenbosch. There were 160 entries for this award.
Spoudazo – Township Vegetable Tunnel Project
Spoudazo Enterprises Trust is a registered public benefit organisation, the purpose of which is to enhance the interests of the poor and vulnerable, to further their interests and well-being by means of providing them with welfare, humanitarian assistance, healthcare, land and housing, education and development services. Raubex has supported Spoudazo’s Township Vegetable Tunnel Project, since October 2012. This project involves the setting up of vegetable tunnels for individual households in addition to offering them training and mentoring.
During 2017, 9 new vegetable tunnels were set up for identified beneficiaries. Raubex funded the set up and mentorship process of these tunnels during the year. To date there are a total 55 vegetable tunnels in the Free State with an additional five vegetable tunnels in Namibia supporting beneficiaries from previously disadvantaged communities.
The focus of this project is not only to ensure food security for these households but also to establish an economic system within their communities. Spoudazo equips each beneficiaries with the necessary vegetable growing skills that will assist them to earn an income, not only from the selling of their crops but also by sharing in the responsibilities of the setup and mentoring process of additional tunnels in their communities. Each tunnel has the ability to produce spinach to the value of R6 720 per planting season.
In addition to this, the project has provided opportunities for enterprise development to some of the identified tunnel beneficiaries who showed the necessary skill and willingness to be further equipped as entrepreneurs. Two such entrepreneurs’ now have their own websites for their businesses, which can be viewed at www.tlali.co.za and www.vegetablemarket.co.za.