SOEs commit over R131m to social initiatives

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cape Town - State-owned enterprises committed over R131 million in 2011/12 to help fund social and community programmes, with the bulk of funding coming from Eskom and Transnet, the Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba has revealed.

In response to a parliamentary question from a member of the opposition on whether any of the state-owned entities (SOEs) reporting to his department had made any social responsibility contributions in the last financial year, Gigaba listed a number of initiatives that SOEs were involved in during 2011/12 in assisting communities.

Eskom topped the list for contributions to social initiatives, contributing R87.9 million to various projects such as business incubators, an energy and environmental programme, enterprise development initiatives and projects in infrastructure development and education support.

The electricity utility's social investment initiatives are executed by way of grants and donations, through the Eskom Development Foundation.

Among the department's SOEs, Transnet committed the second highest amount to social initiatives, at over R28.4 million.

In all, Transnet made 29 contributions - ranging between 37 000 to R10 million - to schools, communities groups and other organisations to help fund various sport, educational and container assistance projects.

The SA Forestry Company (Safcol) came in with the third highest contribution, totaling over R8.1 million, which went to various projects from its socio economic development division which focuses on the socio-economic development of communities adjacent to its operations.

Contributions are channeled through community forums which help to identify needs based on the availability of resources.

Safcol projects implemented in the 2011/12 financial year include the construction of educational facilities and provision of support, skills development and training, setting up a computer information centre, assistance with health care facilities, establishment of gardening for food production facility and providing boreholes.

The remainder of contributions by SOEs included:
* R3.4 million by the state's diamond mining company Alexkor to the transportation of employees, meals, cleaning services, community welfare contributions, HIV/Aids and educational assistance to schools in the Richtersveld and Namaqualand areas in the Northern Cape.
* Over R3 million by Denel to various projects including mathematics and science support, payment of studies and accommodation, educational tours and community home maintenance.
* R707 000 by SA Express to various projects including Rhino Kids Experience, the Popcorn Kidz Foundation, XL Aloe Travel, Mandela Day and Masimanye Women's Support Centre.
* R149 802 by SAA to a number of projects including the Joint Aviation Awareness Programme with flights for young mathematics and science learners to visit the airline's technical facilities.

Gigaba said the state's telecoms entity Broadband Infraco did not make any social contributions in the last financial year, but that it is in the process of developing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. -