This article is derived from a presentation delivered at the 2016 In Good Company Conference.
In the present socio-economic climate, South African business leaders require courage. Courage will help us persevere as we address the daunting problems of economic growth and social development in South Africa. A?er all, profitability in a business and development of communities are not mutually exclusive.
As we examine issues of corporate social investment (CSI), we must also consider future business practices in a wider, more inspired light. Poverty, unemployment and inequality require our leaders to show courage as they address these challenges holistically and systemically. This is the only avenue which can ensure sustainable and durable solutions to these pressing problems.
CSI is key to the upliftment of communities, but in the light of constrained economic growth it is to be expected that the CSI funds will be reduced. Trialogue, a South African consultancy which focuses on corporate responsibility, has estimated the total CSI expenditure in the country at R8.1-billion for the 2014/15 financial year. This figure shows a decline, year-on-year, of 6% in real terms, following a real decline of 2% in 2013/14 but it is coupled to a corresponding drop in corporate profits within the same period.