Creating partnerships to build resilient communities
Safe and well-maintained communities remain a key challenge for all South Africans. The lack of both infrastructure and resources are factors that continue to expose vulnerable communities to economic and social hardship. The lack of adequate safety and security-related services in these communities prevent communities from breaking the cycle of poverty and socio-economic hardship. For this reason, we are committed to creating a stable and prosperous society – one that ensures a successful country with markets full of potential. The importance of our selected programmes addresses key social risks, such as increased levels of violence and substance abuse, as these are the real issues many communities currently face and which ultimately affect children.
We have always recognised the potential of young people and continue to support the realisation thereof through our corporate social investment (CSI) programmes. Our CSI strategy’s core focus is on youth, which is aligned with our company strategy and our approach to prioritise developmental work. By focusing our CSI strategy on safe and secure community schools and breaking the cycles of violence and crime, we hope to support the long-term interest of society as well as our own core business of insurance.
During 2016, we launched a safety ideas initiative. The campaign invited submission of safety ideas and concepts for the public with the winning concepts going through an incubation process for further development into prototypes to further stand the chance of being turned into viable businesses. This initiative strengthens our association with safety and risk management, creates opportunities for enterprise development and investment, and ultimately supports our commitment to manage the risk pool and reduce systemic risk.
In 2016, we invested R21 million in CSI projects, including consumer financial education, with the majority allocated to environmental and development programmes. Our focus areas include:
- Drive community risk awareness through partnerships to address the drivers of risk and inculcate appropriate risk response behaviour
- Partner with appropriate entities to increase capacity for disaster response and relief in vulnerable communities
- Assist with the improvement of technology to enable communities to use early warning systems to drive proactive risk management behaviour
- Address the causes of fire risks in communities by providing safer alternatives, for example replacing candles with solar candles, heat and smoke sensors, etc
- Where appropriate, assist neighbourhood watches with necessary equipment to improve service to communities
- Focus on hotspots in the high-risk communities and address high-risk activities through partnerships and programmes, for example eradication of alien vegetation projects for job creation purposes, firebreaks, etc.
Emthunzini BBBEE Community Trust
The Santam BBBEE scheme, established in 2007, transferred 10% of its shares to a broad consortium, which consisted of three components:
- The Emthunzini Black Economic Empowerment Staff Trust (the Staff Trust)
- The Emthunzini Black Economic Empowerment Business Partners Trust (the Business Partners Trust)
- The Emthunzini Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Community Trust (the Community Trust)
The scheme matured in February 2015, at which time the Community Trust received Santam shares and cash to the value of R275 million.
Since its establishment, the Community Trust has been an example of responsible giving put into good practice. It has contributed to a wide range of outcomes at community and organisational level (for grantees).
In 2015, the Community Trust invested in sustainability and advancement capacity building. Investment in each organisation in terms of monitoring and evaluation mentoring has resulted in beneficiary organisations:
- being clearer in terms of their strategy and operations;
- being able to measure how they are doing and produce evidence;
- having an outcomes focus; and
- beginning to have a learning focus.
Santam’s CSI team provides administrative support to the Community Trust, managing grant applications and monitoring the progress of funded projects.
Santam Child Art
The Santam Child Art project is a recognised and well-established national initiative that aims to promote the love of art among children in South Africa and Namibia. It offers a platform for our children to express and present their thoughts and ideas in a creative manner.
The Santam Child Art project is a recognised and well-established national initiative which aims to promote the love of art among children in South Africa and Namibia. It offers a platform for our children to express and present their thoughts and ideas in a creative manner.
Art is a highly valuable, but often neglected, aspect of human development. Although Arts and Culture is a part of the formal curriculum for primary school children in South Africa, there are many schools in disadvantaged areas where the subject is not offered, or where it is under-resourced. In fact, research has shown that most Arts and Culture educators in these areas have not received formal training in the subject.
Launced in 1963, the Santam Child Art project aims to promote a love for art among children and improve Arts and Culture educators' abilities to teach the skills required. We believe that art has the ability to deepen children's insight and capabilities, helping them to develop holistically and reach their full potential. The programme provides young people with an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas through art, and be acknowledged for this creative expression. Although it is not a primary goal of the programme, we hope that the programme would result in economic development – the creative industries offer a variety of career opportunities. Furthermore, the innovative thinking art encourages is sought after in all sectors.
When we reviewed the Santam Child Art project in 2010, we decided to reinforce it with a developmental focus, making it more inclusive of disadvantaged schools. Therefore, we decided to develop workshops aimed at improving the skills of Arts and Culture educators. This focus aligns with our desire to develop schools as an investment in the future, and to provide children with constructive after-school activities.
The programme has grown to incorporate a national art competition, an online exhibition of selected artworks, an art calendar and informal art centres at schools. All schoolgoing children may enter. The teacher development programme is targeted at Arts and Culture educators in underprivileged and special needs schools. Learners in these schools also benefit from art classes supported by Santam.
To implement this project, we have partnered with the Ibhabhathane Project (under the auspices of the Frank Joubert Art Centre) who has assisted us in the development and implementation of the workshops. The 10-hour workshops train Grades 4 – 6 curriculum advisers and educators to acquire the necessary skills in visual arts, drama and music. Free informal art classes are also offered to children from disadvantaged communities who lack adequate support in visual art tuition.
The programme involves all relevant stakeholders in the schooling system, including:
- The National Department of Basic Education
- Provincial Education Departments in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
- The Ibhabhathane Project
- Frank Joubert Art Centre
- Business and Arts South Africa
During 2012, Santam's Child Art programme won the prestigious BASA/Financial Mail Award for Youth Development and was a runner-up in the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Awards.
The art competition is open to any schoolgoing child in South Africa. Each year, a new theme is chosen, and children, with the help of their teachers, submit works addressing this theme in any two-dimensional medium of their choice. Selected entries are featured in an online exhibition, and 13 of those are used in the annual Santam Child Art calendar. The funds raised by the sales of the calendar are used to support free art classes for learners.
As part of our effort to improve art education in disadvantaged communities, we have partnered with the Ibhabhathane Project since 2011. Run by the Frank Joubert Art Centre, the Ibhabhathane Project presents Arts and Culture workshops to educators. The programme is approved and supported by the National Department of Basic Education that, while able to instruct the educators in the policy for Arts and Culture teaching, is not equipped to train them to acquire the necessary skills.
The workshop content is aligned with the National Department of Basic Education’s new CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements) programme.
The 10-hour Arts and Culture educator workshops train Grades 4 – 6 curriculum advisers and educators to acquire the necessary skills in visual arts, drama and music. It is in this age group that the base of all art teaching is established and were educators can have the biggest impact on learners. The workshops not only help educators to develop their creative art-teaching skills, but also offer opportunities for greater imagination and innovative teaching. By training educators, Santam Child Art is able to leave a tangible positive impact as educators perform better in their roles.
Secondarily, this also gives the Santam Child Art competition leverage in schools, because schools with skilled teachers are more likely to participate year on year. The Ibhabhathane Project has undertaken workshops in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. A manual and training DVD has been developed as a practical guide to assist teachers in preparing lessons for their learners.
Free informal art classes are offered to children from disadvantaged communities who lack adequate support in visual art tuition. The art classes are held at schools, children's homes and private art schools, and are presented by local artists who are often unemployed, bringing in an element of job creation.
We encourage our employees to live the Santam values of integrity, humanity, passion, excellence and innovation by getting more involved in their communities, through three different channels:
Santam Community Heroes: Employees are asked to nominate a programme of their choice. If the application is successful against a list of criteria, the project is awarded funding to conduct the activities stated in the application. The employee then monitors the spending of the donation and coordinates the reporting process. We provide the funds and oversee governance issues in terms of BBBEE and dti codes.
Payroll Giving: We offer our employees the opportunity to make financial contributions from their monthly salaries, from as little as R5, to causes they identify with. Funds are transferred to The Giving Organisation, an independent trust that administers the funds. The Giving Organisation represents 10 charities and non-profit organisations from a variety of good causes, and employees are able to choose from this list.
Mandela Day: In addition to being a volunteerism event, Mandela Day is also an opportunity for employee engagement and team building, demonstrating the value of collaboration between teams and departments. In May each year, entries are solicited from teams, departments and business units that identify organisations of their choice and apply for funding. The CSI department assesses all applications against set criteria, and those that qualify are awarded funding to assist with their planned activities on 18 July.
Submit your project proposal
We recommend that you submit your request for funding at least four months prior to the anticipated project starting date. Submit your project proposal in either hard copy or electronic format as follow:
Corporate Social Investment Department
P.O BOX 3881