There is a desperate need to channel funding to community organisations and NGOs within South Africa’s more rural areas. This is according to German More, a Fundraising Consultant at CSI Agency MAMAS Alliance, who reiterates that poverty within so many of our rural communities in South Africa is devastating.
This is also mirrored in the type of educational outcomes that we find in rural areas compared to urban areas. Hundreds, if not thousands of schools in many of our rural areas across the country face the daily challenge of dilapidated buildings and non-existing facilities. While children may be eager to learn, these circumstances are not conducive to learning at all.
More says that many companies are often compelled to prioritise CSI spend in the urban and inner-city areas where they are located or in which they operate. According to research conducted by corporate responsibility consultancy Trialogue, Gauteng was the most supported province in 2020 with 48% of companies directing funding to operations in this province. This was followed by KwaZulu-Natal with support from 35% of companies and the Western Cape with support from 28% of companies.
“We plead to South African corporates to start looking at stretching their available budgets to include more rural communities,” says More, who explains that greater interventions are needed to ensure that rural communities are not forgotten,” he says. “While the role of CSI is to contribute to socio economic development, poverty and inequality is a national issue and is not concentrated in central areas.”
He says that even if we could motivate for 10% of CSI budget spend to be directed to benefit NGOs in rural areas, the impact would be enormous.
More says that while complying with the B-BBEEE codes and guidelines when it comes to corporate social investment is vital, revision to these could be beneficial to ensure that organisations in rural communities are not marginalized.
“We all have a national duty to contribute to the development of our entire society,” he says. “If we can spread our wings and reach further areas, we would achieve a lot more,” he says.
As a CSI Agency, MAMAS Alliance is a vehicle that drives and directs funds from the CSI space in South Africa to where they are needed the most. MAMAS Alliance works with 37 sustainable NGOS from 75 predominantly rural sites countrywide with different focus areas informed by the needs of communities in which they are located.
Corporates looking to support innovative programmes making a real difference within rural communities when it comes to education, skills development, food security, health and supporting victims of GBV are urged to make contact with MAMAS Alliance to explore ways to collaborate.