SA companies invest over R9 billion in CSI in 2016/2017

According to Trialogue, companies in SA invested more than R9 billion in CSI last year

Despite challenging economic conditions, South African companies are estimated to have invested over R9 billion in corporate social investment (CSI) in the 2016/2017 financial year. This is according to CSI consultancy Trialogue’s 20th annual publication, The Business in Society Handbook, which profiles the current state of CSI in South Africa.

According to Trialogue, the most popular social cause is education, which accounts for almost half of CSI spend. This is followed by social and community development, and health. The mining, financial and retail sectors together accounted for just under two-thirds (62 percent) of the total CSI expenditure.

Trialogue MD Nick Rockey (pictured) said the majority of CSI spend was allocated to the economic hubs of Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

He said:

“The proportion of companies (45 percent) that reported non-cash giving this year was also significantly higher than last year (35 percent). Product and service donations accounted for the vast majority of this.”

Rockey added that future trends include increased integration of CSI with other divisions and functions in a company; companies will scale back on the number of initiatives that they support, to just one or a few flagship programmes; and companies will be expected to take a stand on current social and political issues. Moreover, alternative and blended financing models for development will become commonplace, and, in addition to traditional grant funding, there will be combinations of social enterprise, impact bonds, loan financing and crowdfunding.