Investing in the community
Two notable donations, which are not included under Remgro’s annual corporate social investment (CSI) are:
- The once-off donation in the previous financial year of R500 million to The South African SME Relief Trust (The SA SME Relief Trust) in support of the Sukuma Relief Fund (the Sukuma Fund); and
- An amount of R25 million which was committed to the Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project (Khaya Lam Project), of which R8 million was allocated during the year under review (2020: R9 million).
The Sukuma Fund, with more than R1 billion in total donations, was created to provide financial assistance and relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) adversely affected by measures taken to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sukuma Fund was closed in December 2020 and disbursements up to 30 June 2021 were as follows:
- Soft loans to 1 304 SMEs amounting to R747 million
- Survival grants to more than 1 270 SMEs and 2 600 formal sole proprietors amounting to R97 million.
The number of employees that benefited from this initiative amounted to 32 527.
The SA SME Relief Trust also dedicated R200 million to a number of initiatives targeting SMEs like the Restaurant Restart Programme, Working Capital Relief Programme and Social Unrest Relief Programme, Technical Assistance interest-free loans and an Advocacy Programme for SMEs.
The Khaya Lam Project facilitates the granting of title deeds to qualifying township residents, helping them to break through the bureaucratic lock-jam which has deprived them of this entitlement. The underlying belief of this initiative is that the acquisition of title deeds will provide the owners with unambiguous rights of access to tradeable property assets and thus facilitate their entry into the formal markets. The initiative is currently focused on the Western Cape where it was kicked off. In terms of the first tranche of R9 million, which was committed as part of the R25 million, approximately 2 908 title deeds have been delivered or are in the process of being delivered. In terms of the second tranche of R8 million, which covers two projects both in their infancy, 470 transfers are planned for Wupperthal (a two-year project) and 2 100 for Brown’s Farm.
Remgro’s CSI initiatives and donations programme cover a broad spectrum of society and can be summarised as follows:
- Community development
- Cultural development
- Entrepreneurship, training and education
- Sport development
Remgro aims to maintain a CSI spending of approximately 2.5% of its net free cash flow annually. In this regard, an official CSI committee meets regularly to consider and approve grants to institutions in need. Donations to qualifying institutions are made on an annual basis for a specific period and, although such contributions cover a wide range, there are two noticeable exceptions: political parties and religious institutions. Remgro respects its employees’ choice to participate in these institutions, but does not exercise a choice itself.
During the year under review Remgro’s CSI spend amounted to R22 million (2020: R25 million), as set out in the table below.
|Summary of CSI spend||Year ended
|Entrepreneurship, training and education||8||11|
Further details regarding Remgro’s CSI initiatives can be found in the detailed Sustainable Development Report.