Staff volunteerism funds redirected to COVID-19 relief initiatives

7 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the most vulnerable communities across the country severely, and through our Community Heroes programme alone we were this year able to impact 39 charities with much-needed support and relief to the value of more than R500 000.

The pandemic has also impacted our annual Mandela Day involvement, and we are not able to engage in the normal Mandela day activities. The CSI team has decided to contribute R60 000 towards Rise Against Hunger. This donation will ensure that 96 boxes of packed food will be donated on behalf of Santam feeding 20 736 people (each packed box feeds 216 people).

Tersia Mdunge, CSI manager, says Santam staff have always rallied behind all staff volunteerism projects. “This year though, they've made positive contributions to communities suffering directly from the impact of COVID-19. This pandemic has put enormous strain on many communities, which increased the need for support and donations. We at Santam are mindful of this and were heartened by the staff involvement this year."

Volunteerism is a key part of Santam's Corporate Social Investment initiatives that allow staff as individuals, teams and business units to make a direct contribution to community development.

This year through the Community Heroes project were we able to contribute R552 000 towards the 39 organisations and charities. Generally, the contributions and funds were used:

  • To support online communications, learning, and coaching platforms
  • To purchase PPEs and sanitising products
  • To purchase food parcels and groceries to support the centres as many people have lost their jobs in some of the communities and are now relying on the feeding centres
  • To supplement school transport, and the purchasing of single desks to support social distancing in daycare centres.

Mandela Day 2020

Tersia says Santam has always supported Mandela Day to honour Madiba's legacy of humanity. “We identify with the Mandela Foundation's belief that daily service to one's fellow man, in whatever shape or form, is an action each one of us can commit to. While we are not able to physically live up to our humanity as part of the Santam Way this year, we trust that our contribution to Rise Against Hunger will play our part as Madiba change-makers by 'living' Madiba's legacy."

Between 2013 and 2020, the average number of projects undertaken and had staff participation in the Staff Volunteerism programme are: 

  • Santam Community Heroes: 229 projects (R 2 704 200.00)
  • Payroll giving: Average of 292 staff members (approximately R442 040.00)
  • Mandela Day: 225 projects (R 1 338 500.00)

Tersia continues that she is proud and thankful for the contribution that staff members continue to make. “Our staff members touch many lives and make lasting contributions."

According to Tersia, corporate social responsibility is one of the values that underpin Santam's CSI. “Sooner or later a company's culture and habits will represent society as a whole. If that society is to be caring, efficient and responsible, its corporations must model those behaviours and play an important role in building a liveable society," she concludes.