Corporate social investment initiatives made easy

Implementing corporate social investment initiatives (CSI) is a daunting task for many South African corporates. The skills, project management and human resources needed to effectively execute a large scale sustainable CSI initiative is often not possible as the economic winter sees corporates operating with skeleton staff. So how can corporates maintain their CSI activities whilst still operating their own business?  

Corporate ‘cheque writing’ is not a suitable alternative as a means to contribute towards the improvement of disadvantaged communities. Not only does it show a lack of interest in the CSI initiatives it serves, there is also no sustainability and accountability for the projects. Therefore, CSI initiatives should go beyond philanthropy.

Denise Behrens, the Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Manager at Peninsula Beverages (PenBev – local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape) notes to corporates looking to make a significant difference in their communities, “Like many larger corporates, we don’t have the resources to designate a department or team to our CSI projects.”

Over the past 60 years, PenBev has contributed to both small community projects and large ‘brick and mortar’ projects around the Western Cape. Behrens continues, “Peninsula Beverages takes huge pride in the various buildings we have constructed over the years. Ensuring sustainability is a must as far as our CSI initiatives are concerned. These ‘brick and mortar’ projects are a huge logistical operation. From identifying a community need, negotiations, implementation and project management, and ongoing reporting and maintenance work. As much as we wanted to get involved in these initiatives, we simply didn’t have the capacity to take it on.”

PenBev researched ways in which they could continue these projects without having the specialist skills and knowledge required to implement building projects. “Nine years ago we partnered with The Rotary Club of Newlands to help us with our vision of building or renovating one large scale community project each year. Through the expertise of The Rotary Club of Newlands who have executed many similar projects over the years, we have been able to realise the dreams of eight local communities by building or renovating edu-care and day care centres, school classrooms and development centres. We also have three more projects in the pipeline this year,” says Behrens.

The Rotary Club of Newlands has assisted PenBev by vetting possible projects with background checks to ensure it is a viable and sustainable option. They have also project managed each initiative and reported back after completion, as well as regular post-project checks to address any maintenance issues. By operating with complete transparency, both parties are able to maintain a firm hand on the projects and their outcomes.

Wybe Meinesz, President of the Rotary Club of Newlands comments, “We have been fortunate to work with PenBev as a corporate who cares about their CSI investments and who truly want to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. It’s our policy to ensure that 100% of funds generated are used for these initiatives. We are looking forward to many more successful projects in partnership with them, and are in search of other corporates to assist with their CSI initiatives.”

Behrens concludes, “The Rotary Club of Newlands has made a significant difference to our projects and without their help, many of them would not have been possible. I recommend to all corporates in South Africa to call on their local Rotary Club if they too need support to realise their sustainable CSI initiatives.”

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook

To find out more about The Rotary Club of Newlands, visit

Registration open for SMME Opportunity Roadshow

Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) are invited to attend the first SMME Opportunity Roadshow taking place free of charge on 06 May 2015 at Emperors Palace. The Roadshow aims to assist SMME’s in four key areas of their businesses: financial management, human resources (HR), information and communications technology (ICT) as well as sales and marketing. This is the first of four roadshows scheduled to take place around the country this year. The other events will be taking place in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The SMME sector includes a wide range of enterprises or business models with each model having different financial needs. According to South Africa’s 2015 Budget Review[1], Government’s immediate priorities are framed by the nine-point plan to boost growth and create jobs. One of these points is to unlock small business potential in South Africa. SMMEs are now the drivers of job creation and economic development in South Africa. As President Jacob Zuma said in his 2015 State of The Nation Address – ‘Small business is big business’.

Starting and running your own business in South Africa comes with a number of challenges. One of the main challenges businesses face today, mostly small to medium businesses, is cash flow and access to equity capital. Financial institutions understand the key role that they play when it comes to supporting and developing entrepreneurs in South Africa. Standard Bank will be on hand to assist entrepreneurs during these road shows to learn more about making wise financial decisions especially when it comes to managing debt and how best to get support from financial institutions for business loans.  Managing business credit records and how to keep the business sustainable will be another important topic to be discussed during the day.

“Business owners can expect informative interventions on the day as we kick-start the day with keynote speakers from Government and important enterprise development outfits such as Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise, Standard Bank, who will outline the opportunity horizon for SMMEs operating in South Africa,” shares Greg Penfold, Events Division Manager at Cape Media. The day will continue with four master classes in finance, human resources (HR), information and communications technology (ICT) and sales. Delegates will be given an opportunity to pick up on the finer points of these four main business areas. Penfold concludes, “Strategic partnerships between banks, large corporate sized organisations, which includes Public Sector organisations, SMMEs and accredited business development service providers (BDSP’s) are important for the growth and development of businesses. Enterprise Development should focus on developing and growing small and medium businesses into mid-corporate to corporate sized industrial businesses through these strategic alliances.”

SA FM presenter Ashraf Garda will be programme director of the day and some of the keynote addresses will include Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprise, Standard Bank and Sakhumzi Maqubela, Owner & Founder of Sakhumzi Restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.

SMME’s can register for free on Registration is open and will close the day before the event, Wednesday, 05 May 2015. These events will run between 08:00 and 17:00. The SMME Roadshow Opportunity will be in your city on:

  • Johannesburg: Wednesday, 06 May 2015 | Emperors Palace
  • Port Elizabeth: Wednesday, 08 July 2015 | Boardwalk Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Durban: Tuesday, 18 August 2015 | Durban ICC
  • Cape Town: Thursday, 10 September 2015 | The Clocktower Conference Centre, V&A Waterfront

For more information and other opportunities at the Roadshow such as exhibiting on the day, please contact Zama Hlekani at Cape Media | 021 6817000 | Follow us on Twitter @SMME_Roadshow and on Facebook

Easy steps to make every day Earth Day

‘It’s our turn to lead.’ The theme for this year’s Earth Day calls on all citizens around the globe to unite and show support for the protection of a beautiful and green environment. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) encourages all South Africans to take this challenge of a clean environment head-on by reducing consumption at home.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April. Now in its 45th year, Earth Day is one of the largest observances in the world with one billion people participating in activities each year*. The IWMSA urges South Africans to take a stand all year round and join its plight for a healthy future for everyone.

“To reduce personal consumption is not always an easy task to tackle, but there are a few doable steps you can follow throughout the year to help protect our environment for future generations; you may also save money in the process,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA.

Here are five easy steps to reduce consumption and make every day Earth Day:

  1. 1.     Sort your cupboards and closets first before hitting the shops

“With the winter months approaching, sorting your cupboards and closets will help you to focus on the things you really need,” guides Oelofse. Sort clothes that are too big, too small or is simply not you anymore and donate these items to the less-privileged. “Donations are a form of re-use which will cut your waste while helping people in need, especially during winter time,” adds Oelofse.

  1. 2.     Plan your shopping trip

Window-shopping only leads you to temptation to buy the things that you don’t necessarily need. “Impulsive purchases are often left unused and eventually ends up in the dustbin,” shares Oelofse. “Rather draw up a shopping list of the things you need beforehand. This is especially important when purchasing perishable food as it usually gets spoiled and ends up at landfill sites. The challenge to this step is to stick to the shopping list!”

  1. 3.     Set up a meal planner

When cooking food, try to use the oldest ingredients first before its shelf life expires. Oelofse advises to regularly rotate or sort cupboards according to shelf life as it will help you to access your oldest stock quicker and easier. “Prepare just enough food for the amount of people that will be enjoying the meal. If there is food left over, use it for a delicious soup or start your own home composting system. Cooking just enough food will cut your waste and even save electricity,” shares Oelofse.

  1. 4.     Challenge yourself to see how little you can get by with

“Rather than spending money on the latest and newest products, challenge yourself to see with how little you can get along with. A little really does go a long way,” suggests Oelofse. This will not only save you money, but save the environment’s valuable resources.

  1. 5.     Buy eco-products

Melissa Baird, editor of Green Home magazine, says, “We are seeing more eco-products making its way onto shopping shelves that are good for the environment and great for your home as they don’t contain harsh chemicals. Consumers should shop around and find out what works for them when making new choices.” For those who are unsure where to start, visit The Green Home Fair at Brooklyn Mall from 27 to 28 June 2015. The Fair forms part of the annual Sustainability Week and consumers will be treated to the latest in-home and décor products.

With these easy steps, everyone can make every day Earth Day. “Protecting our earth through reduced consumerism, saves you money!  It is a win-win situation,” concludes Oelofse.

For more information on the IWMSA, visit The IWMSA is also on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Sustainability Week is taking place from 23 to 28 June 2015. For more information on Sustainability Week and the Green Home Fair, visit


Cape Town social circus ‘Zip Zap’ invited to perform at prestigious event in Lagos, Nigeria

Cape Town’s very own social circus, Zip Zap, has been invited to showcase their world-class performance skills to 350 international businesses, expatriates and Nigerian guests in Lagos, Nigeria on 25 April 2015.

The performance will form part of the tenth anniversary for the Society for Performing Arts Nigeria (SPAN), a registered non-profit organisation that aims to create a top-notch standard for performing arts education and expression in Nigeria.

“We are committed to the preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and artistic expressions the African people are known for, and take pride in the association with organisations that share our passion,” says Sarah Boulos, founder and director of SPAN. “We’ve seen a passionate spirit in the work Zip Zap does and saw the gala event as the perfect opportunity to learn from and enrich their exceptional performers.”

Over the past 23 years, Zip Zap has tackled poverty and unemployment in Cape Town by teaching circus skills to aspiring youngsters in local impoverished areas, but the recent international interest is unprecedented.

“Receiving an invitation to perform at the gala event is a huge achievement for Zip Zap, because it demonstrates our performers’ exceptional talent and refined skills,” says Brent van Rensburg, co-founder and artistic director of Zip Zap. “The support and opportunities we have received has shown that our motto, ‘dare to dream’, does not only capture our ideals, but has become a rewarding inspiration for all Zip Zappers.”

Seven top Zip Zap performers Jacobus Claassen (22 years old), Jason Barnard (21 years old), Phelelani Ndakroka (19 years old), Sabine Van Rensburg (18 years old) and instructors, Lennert Vandenbroeck (28 years old), Lesu Escalante (28 years old), and Tamryn Escalante (27 years old), are set to dazzle the crowd at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria on 25 April 2015, with their internationally acclaimed acts.

The show, titled ‘OUR STORY’ tells the exciting life stories of the stars of SPAN through a heart-warming and spectacular showcase of dance, music and song. From their beginnings transitioning into the performing arts under the training, guidance and vision of the society, and finally being rewarded by success in their fields as performers, choreographers, directors and producers.

The performance will include aerial acts: single trapeze and silk, ground acts: gravity juggling and Cyr wheel, as well as dance and movement!

Zip Zap teaches circus skills in the greater Cape Town area and provides circus entertainment at private and corporate functions as well as public events.

For more information about Zip Zap Circus School, please contact 021 421 8622 or visit the website and find us on Facebook

About Zip Zap Circus School

Zip Zap Circus is a social circus that was founded in Cape Town in 1992, to inspire young people and help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa. Working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds, Zip Zap helps kids to ‘dare to dream’ and learn to make those dreams a reality. Zip Zap’s programmes are all free to participants, with financial and material support coming from individuals, organization, corporations and foundations. In South Africa and the world, Zip Zap is recognized across Governments, Ministries of Education, Tourism, Arts & Culture and private societies, as a major contributor to the development within the iconic ‘Mother City’ and providing sustainability of the circus arts in South Africa.

Sustainability Week: Green-living lifestyle fair comes to Pretoria

Caption: The Green Home Fair in 2013

Long gone are the days that eco-friendly products are expensive and only aimed at an exclusive market. It is fast becoming a global norm to choose household products that reduce the impact on the environment and ensure better conditions for the people involved in its manufacture. The Green Home Fair, which forms part of this year’s Sustainability Week, will make its way to Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria to showcase all the fabulous products and services to savvy consumers from 27 to 28 June 2015.

Eco-decorating and finishes, motoring, travelling, veggie gardens, eco-sport and recycling ideas are just some of the initiatives that those with a flair for style, while being environmentally conscious can look forward to at this year’s Green Home Fair.

Melissa Baird, Editor of Green Home magazine says, “The growing trend worldwide is that consumers want to know that the products that they buy don’t harm the environment and that the manufacturers producing them are socially conscious. Labelling is also a major issue as consumers are interested in the ingredients used in the food and products they buy – it all comes down to being a conscious consumer, a key attraction point of the Green Home Fair.”

As part of the overall Sustainability Week, the Green Home Fair will educate people why being mindful of their impact on the environment matters and how it can save money in the long run. There will be public talks about what consumers need in order to be more energy efficient and water-wise. The Fair will also showcase the latest in-home and décor products that are on trend, new and super stylish.

Nicola van Kan, Marketing Manager at Brooklyn Mall, says, “We are proud and very excited to be hosting the Green Home Fair and help put a spotlight on all green lifestyle products and services. The communal and interactive space promises a great experience for consumers. Growthpoint Properties, owners of Brooklyn Mall, is a socially responsible company and we support sustainable projects that positively impact our society.”

“We are seeing more eco-products making its way onto shopping shelves that are good for the environment and great for your home as they don’t contain harsh chemicals. Consumers should shop around and find out what works for them when making new choices,” guides Baird.

By living a more green lifestyle, you will have less chemicals, more nutritious food and see a reduction in waste – all contributing to a better home and community.

The Green Home Fair is free of charge and will take place from 27 to 28 June 2015 at Brooklyn Mall.

Exhibition spaces and sponsorship packages are available. If you are interested, please contact alive2green at or 021-447-4733.

For more information on Sustainability Week, visit

Note to Editors:

Sustainability Week, hosted by the City of Tshwane, offers a variety of conferences and seminars at the CSIR ICC from 23 to 25 June 2015. The Youth and Green Economy event will take place on 26 June 2015 at Tshwane University of Technology and the Green Home Fair will mark the end of Sustainability Week on 27 and 28 June 2015 at Brooklyn Mall.

Egoli settlement dwellers receive much needed waterproof roof covers

Caption: Photo 1 (on the left): As winter is on its way, the informal settlement community of Egoli in Cape Town can rest easier as 100 homes were recently fitted with Ikaya waterproof roof covers thanks to Mustadafin Foundation and generous donors. Photo 2, from left to right: Ismail Moola (representative of the project sponsor); informal settlement dweller and recipient of the Ikaya roof cover; Ameer Samsodien (Mustadafin Foundation).  

For many living in informal settlements, winter brings with it stressful challenges as heavy rains flood low lying areas. The situation is exacerbated by unstable and porous roof structures which cause internal leakages.

A Johannesburg-based community donor observed the plight of those living in these conditions and saw an opportunity to help those in need. Ismail Moola was appointed by the anonymous sponsor to facilitate the installation of 100 Ikaya roof covers in the Egoli informal settlement in Schaapkraal, and NGO Mustadafin Foundation will be providing the logistics of installing and maintaining the covers.

The 4m x 4m waterproof covers are made from Tarpaulin/PVC and are 650 grams in thickness, making them the most durable roof covers used to date. Not only are they heat repellent in the hot summer months, but they also insulate shacks in winter while keeping its residents dry.

Ameer Samsodien, project leader at Mustadafin Foundation who helped research and implement the project, said, “We are so grateful for the support of our donors and through their generous donation we were able to install 100 Ikaya roof covers at this stage at a cost of R100 000. With proper care, the covers will last about five to six years, and we hope to install many more in the coming months when further funds come in.”

If you would like donate to the Ikaya roof covers initiative, please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010.

For more information on Mustadafin Foundation, visit Join their Facebook page at

Architecture: The life blood of our cities’ future

The power of a simple ‘How?’ can have a massive impact on revolution, innovation and transformation, especially when it comes to the future of generations – an inspiring thought that will drive the discussion at the 5th ArchitectureZA event (AZA2015) taking place at The Sheds in Johannesburg from 24 – 26 September 2015.

Leading innovative thinkers in the architectural and design industry will be heading to the much-acclaimed and trendy space, The Sheds@1Fox in Johannesburg for this year’s “Future City” AZA2015. The event aspires to bring together all design fraternities to create awareness of the value and positive impact design disciplines have on the economy and society. Success stories, case studies, lessons learnt and international best practice will be shared by top pioneers.

Among the esteemed speakers at the event is Beatriz Colomina, professor of History and Theory of Architecture, director of Graduate Studies at Princeton University School of Architecture and founding director of the interdisciplinary Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. Colomina has written extensively on the subjects of architecture and media, which includes Domesticity at War (2007) and Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994).

Alta Walker, head of innovation at PPC comments that architecture has the power to transform society and citizens’ lives, a key focus at this year’s ArchitectureZA.  The event promises an insight into how architects contribute towards urban environments. “The various conference speakers represent original ways of architectural thinking, of identifying with their respective constituencies, and of practicing and engaging with the various contexts and pressing issues presented in South Africa and other developing countries. PPC is proud to be associated yet again with ArchitectureZA as a principal partner. PPC will continue to contribute both directly and indirectly towards the development of architecture and other creative disciplines in this country,” continues Walker.

As the founder and managing director of the highly respected non-profit organisation, DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA (D_ZA), Zahira Asmal is no stranger to design for social advancement. Having worked with governments, architects, designers and academics globally, Asmal will provide valuable insight on the impact architecture and design has on developing cities.

“The cities that best support their creative communities, from architects to city visionaries, tend to be the best known and most visible. A developing nation like South Africa desperately needs designers, urban thinkers, economists, engineers, artists and planning specialists, not only to create suitable responses to social challenges but also to seek collaboratively to construct and create a better society,” says Asmal.

Other exciting speakers that have been confirmed include Lesley Lokko, associate professor of architecture at the University of Johannesburg and the author of nine best-selling novels; Alfredo Brillembourg, co-founder of Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Caracas, Venezuela and professor of architecture and urban design at ETH Zürich; as well as Hannah le Roux, director of the architecture programme at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

AZA2015 is proudly sponsored by PPC Ltd. For more information on AZA2015, visit AZA2015 is also on Facebook (

Note to Editors:

AZA2015 follows the series of remarkably successful AZA festivals, the first of which was held in Johannesburg in 2010 followed by equally acclaimed festivals in 2012 and 2013 in partnership with the City of Cape Town and World Design Capital Cape Town 2014. Interactive presentations, workshops, exhibitions and film festivals are just some of the events that attracted over a thousand decision makers during past festivals.

Third international Cargo Transport Units (CTU) Packing Roadshow is set to visit Durban for the first in May 2015

The third international Cargo Transport Units (CTU) Packing Roadshow is set to visit Durban on 21 May 2015. Companies involved in CTU logistics, whether moving general cargo, refrigerated or dangerous goods by road, rail or water, be it in containers, swap bodies, road trailers, tankers or rail cars, simply cannot afford to miss the event! The one-day informative seminar will provide fundamental information about the new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for CTU Packing.

Following three years of development, the extensively revised and upgraded IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of CTUs was approved by the IMO and UNECE in January 2014, and by the ILO in November 2014. Companies involved in any form of CTU logistics must comply with the new regulations by July 2016.

Join industry experts at the Durban Country Club on 21 May 2015 from 08:00 to 17:00 where practical education and advice will be offered on the contents of the new Code, its impact and how its new guidelines can be adopted into supply chain operations.

The event is organised by ICHCA international (the leading NGO association representing the interests of the global cargo handling industry) in partnership with the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA).

The event promises a stellar line-up of talks by an expert panel of speakers, as well as interactive brainstorming workgroups where attendees can discuss key questions around disseminating the Code, and training and educating packers.

Executive Director at RPMASA, Liz Anderson said, “We are privileged to partner with ICHCA to bring this important event to our region. It is highly appropriate for Durban as Africa’s largest port to host this first CTU event to be held in Africa.”

“Implementation of the requirements of ‘The CTU Code’ should help to improve safety on our roads and railways, as well as through our ports and at sea through better packing, securing and weighing of containers. Compliance will also help organisations to reduce their exposure to risk and potential liability, a key business component today. Delegates attending will hear from the International Maritime Insurance TT Club of some of the many errors which resulted in severe loss and liability, and should have been avoided by training and compliance,” concludes Anderson.

The event programme includes:

08:00    Registration, networking and refreshments

09:00    Welcome and introduction – Quade Corder, Vice Chairman, Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA)

09:15    Setting the scene: Key packaging & packing issues for compliance – Liz Anderson, Executive         Director, RPMASA

09:40    Dangerous goods packaging essentials for a safe supply chain – Quade Corder, Executive   Manager Sustainability & SHEQ, CHEP Africa, India and Middle East (AIME)

10:10    Introduction to ICHCA and its role in developing the new CTU Code – Capt. Richard W A Brough OBE, Director, ICHCA International

10:45    Coffee and networking

11:15    CTU packing under the new Code – chain of responsibility and insurance implications –        Michael Heads, Managing Director, P&I Associates on behalf of TT Club

11:45    The shipper’s responsibilities under the CTU Code and the IMO’s new container weight        verification rules – Chris Welsh, General Secretary, Global Shippers Forum & Chairman,    ILO/IMO/UNECE Group of Experts

12:15    RPMASA supply chain solutions – Eddie Fourie, General Manager, TrenStar Services

12:25    Group discussion session: Who needs the Code and how do we get it to them?

13:00    Lunch and networking

13:00    RPMASA AGM – RPMASA Members only

14:15    DG compliance issues – Capt. Richard W A Brough OBE, Director, ICHCA International

14:40    Training aids for industry – Liz Anderson On behalf of Exis Technologies

15:00    Securing solutions – Barry Hugo, Commercial Manager, Cordstrap South Africa

15:20    Group discussion session: How can the industry work together and next steps

16:00    Closing remarks and wrap-up – Capt. Richard W A Brough OBE, Director, ICHCA International

16:30    Close of CTU Packing Roadshow

Cost for the one-day seminar is R1 450 for non-members, R1 100 for ICHCA / RPMASA members and R950 for ICHCA premium members / RPMASA patrons. Bookings can be made Alternatively, contact Maeve, conference coordinator for bookings and sponsorship \ branding \ display opportunities, on  083 303 4507 or 032 947 1145.

*The new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for CTU Packing is available and can be downloaded from the UNECE website.


RPMASA is an industry association providing a focal point for organisations (industry and retail) involved in the life cycle and supply chain of chemicals, chemical products and hazardous articles, which are regulated. It provides members with supply chain compliance solutions tailored to their company needs, and is a registered Non-Profit Organisation so subscriptions etc. are tax deductible.


The Association provides members with information, specialist knowledge, training, audit and consultancy opportunities, as well as new services to aid compliance in the supply chain. Information on chemical classification, packaging and labelling, handling, storage and transport, including Risk Assessments. RPMASA participates in various government fora for new Legislation and Regulations as well as International and National Standards.

It is the only Industry Association from Africa with a seat on the UN Committee of Experts for transport of dangerous goods and the UN GHS – Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of chemicals. It is thus uniquely placed to provide members with up to date international information, as well as new, and coming legislation for local and export markets, to assist them be pro-active with timeous compliance.