The terms Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Investment are used frequently and interchangeably within the economy. For the purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
1. 1 Corporate Social Responsibility
Reactive actions by the Enterprise that assist agencies and individuals within the Limpopo Province in addressing immediate social needs. These actions do not necessarily have any relation to the Enterprise’s core business.
1. 2 Corporate Social Investment
Proactive actions by the Enterprise, or actions in support of proactive initiatives, intended to stimulate social development within pre-defined areas of focus. Corporate Social Investment (CSI) activities should be aligned to, or support, the broad mandated of the Enterprise.
For consistency’s sake, this policy will refer throughout to Corporate Social Investment (CSI) – the use of the term does however take full cognizance of the fundamental interrelationship between CSI and CSR.
1. 3 Sponsorship vs. CSI
CSI activities should not be confused with sponsorship. A sponsorship falls under the ambit of the marketing department and is solely guided by the Enterprise’s core business focus and strategic plan.
Our CSI Policy Document puts in place guidelines and criteria intended to enable the effective management and monitoring of CSI spend by LimDev in a transparent manner that can be accredited agency on an annual basis.
There are many different approaches to CSI. These approaches are generally dictated by the nature of an organization (the work it carries out and the stakeholder groups it interacts with). While there are legal requirements in place that govern the minimum contribution organization such as LimDev’s commitment must make to ‘social causes’, there are other imperatives the commitment must are equally relevant to LimDev’s commitment to the development and implementation of a vigorous CSI policy and strategy. These include:
CSI is required by the King Report on Corporate Governance (King II) Launched in 2002. This provides a South African voluntary code of conduct, which embraces the ‘triple bottom line’ concept.
It is also a fundamental component of the country’s BBBEE imperative
CSI contributes to social and political stability in the country and the Limpopo Province
It can play a key role in building positive perceptions of LimDev in the province
It can play a key role in building positive employee perceptions of the brand
It is also important in developing positive investor perceptions of the LimDev brand
Collectively, meeting these imperatives offers LimDev a key opportunity to create an identity across the Limpopo Province as a fundamentally human brand – in other words, a brand that is visibly active, in a variety of contexts, across the social life of the province. The creation of this identity, in turn, lays the foundation for the Enterprise to create strong interpersonal relationships with its constituency. These relationships have the power to significantly deepen the Enterprise’s reach and impact in the province.
As a schedule 3D provincial government business enterprise, mandated to provide development finance to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), with the aim of stimulating economic growth and development in the Limpopo Province, LimDev operates within the context of South Africa’s broad economic and social development agenda. It also operates within the context of the Limpopo Provincial Government’s social and economic development strategy. The LimDev CSI policy and resulting strategy are thus philosophically and practically informed by the above contexts – it is important to note, however, that the policy and resulting strategy do not seek to overtly progress the abovementioned agendas.
It has become clear in recent years, particularly in a South African context that, CSI activities have the ability to significantly impact on an organization to meet its strategic goals, specifically by enhancing the organization’s ‘license to operate’ within a complex socio-political context and driving the ‘brand loyalty’ within communities that is so essential to doing sustainable business over the long term.
However, as a mandated development agency with a specific agenda to improve the social and economic outlook of the people of the Limpopo Province, such moral debates are largely irrelevant to LimDev.
LimDev ‘s policy, therefore, rests on the conceptual pillar that CSI activities should be utilized to enhance the efficacy of LimDev’s broad development strategy for the Limpopo Province, whilst not infringing significantly on the regular activities of the Enterprise.