Beefmaster Group Invests R4M in Employee Development in South Africa

Beefmaster Group Invests R4M in Employee Development in South Africa
Photo: freepik.com 16.02.2024 835

Large companies in South Africa are actively developing corporate social responsibility programs. This is encouraged by the local Competition Act, which contains public interest provisions.

Beefmaster Group, a leading supplier of beef products, has invested over R4 million ($209,780.48) in training and people development initiatives in 2023 in a move to boost employee growth and community development.

The initiative directly impacted 233 individuals in the agricultural and industrial sectors of Christiana and Kimberley, marking a substantial 230% increase in training expenditure compared to the previous year. As the largest private employer in Kimberley, Beefmaster Group’s commitment to employee growth is reflected in their HR manager, Cindy Nkgoeng’s, statement.

The initiatives undertaken in 2023 covered a wide range, including nationally recognized learnership with National Certificates in Fresh Meat Processing, the Food and Beverage handling learnership, artisan training, adult education and training, and bursaries for both internal staff and external students.

Highlighting the impact on youth employment, Nkgoeng mentions that 20 individuals were subsequently hired by the company. Seven staff members were awarded bursaries for professional development, while 17 individuals completed learnerships in General Management NQF 4 and NQF 5.

These achievements are particularly noteworthy given the persistent unemployment challenges in regions like the Northern Cape and the North West, as highlighted in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. Despite some improvements, these provinces continue to face challenges, making Beefmaster Group’s initiatives crucial for local communities.

South African companies spent an estimated R11.8bn (approx. $621 million) on corporate social investment (CSI) in the 2023 financial year, according to corporate responsibility consultancy Trialogue’s latest research findings.

In South Africa, corporate social responsibilities of companies acquire an additional meaning. South African competition policy, while based on traditional competition policy principles, also embraces a host of equity and distribution goals.

Among the stated goal of the Competition Act are to promote employment; to ensure equal opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the economy; and to promote greater spread of ownership, in particular to increase the ownership of historically disadvantaged persons (HDPs — South African citizens who suffered due to the Apartheid policy).

The proposed recently Draft Amended Public Interest Guidelines relating to Merger Control suggests that public interest should be considered in mergers review along with the the economic aspects of competition. 

In developing business strategy and in their day-to-day practices, South African companies must assess the impact of their activities on a wider range of interests and stakeholders, including employees and small businesses, especially those owned by historically disadvantaged individuals. In this context, the actions of South African companies must be assessed not only from a purely legal and economic perspective, but also from a social one.

Сorporate social responsibility is particularly relevant for firms with substantial market share, as they can easily abuse their market power. Thus, by prohibiting the abuse of market power by dominant firms, the South African Competition Commission seeks to promote not only legal but also socially responsible corporate business behavior.

According to the study, an important benefit of CSR for companies is the emotional commitment of employees to the company — identification with it,  feeling involved in its activities and having an emotional attachment to it. Large companies, including retailer Pick n Pay and Coca-Cola Beverages SA, are actively developing CSR programs in South Africa. Online accommodation booking platform Airbnb has committed $500,000 (R10 million) to the tourism sector in South Africa and across the African continent. The company said it is committed to creating a sustainable, diverse and inclusive tourism industry in the country.

Airbnb says through the Africa pledge, it will work with local stakeholders to identify organisations that should be considered for funding grants, distributed by the Airbnb Community Fund.

In addition, South Africa is already home to the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, an entrepreneurship development programme focused on introducing individuals from diverse and underrepresented communities to hosting on the Airbnb platform in coordination with local community partners.

Source: Food Business Africa News

South Africa 

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