Since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was held in Johannesburg in 2002, cross-sector partnerships have become increasingly prevalent. They have been adopted by many governments, businesses, civil society groups and international agencies as a mechanism for dealing with environmental, economic and social development challenges. This is according to a case study titled Current practice in the evaluation of cross-sector partnerships for sustainable development, which is being put into practice by Tsogo Sun in its far-reaching CSI programmes.
Tsogo Sun’s commitment to sustainable development is reflected through a number of programmes, namely the Tsogo Sun Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme, Tsogo Sun Environmental Management and Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs. These programmes are based on Tsogo Sun’s deeply-entrenched strategy of integrated collaborations that complement the programmes’ goals. “It is our partnerships and collaborations that have allowed these programmes to expand their offerings and affect a larger number of participants then we could have reached on our own,” says Vusi Dlamini, Tsogo Sun Group HR Director.
The group’s CSI programmes affect over 35 000 students, 1 000 teachers and 310 schools in under-developed communities. The programmes focus on the long term holistic development of an individual child, including life-skills, talent identification, education and leadership through the soccer, chess, learning and arts programmes. “These activities were selected from the framework set out by the Department of Education and the Department of Sports and Recreation. The various programmes’ partnerships with local government, local sporting bodies and similarly-minded organisations are created on the basis of ensuring the model’s efficacy in reaching its goals,” notes Dlamini.
The Absa Financial Literacy programme falls within this sphere. “When the opportunity to partner with Absa was presented to us, we immediately realised that the collaboration would add significant value within our CSI programme,” says Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun Group CSI Manager. “The Tsogo Sun CSI programmes seek to ultimately educate the participants to ensure well-rounded individuals capable of managing their lives and becoming contributing members of society; financial literacy is a vital component in this regard.”
Absa’s programme is a classroom-type educational tool, referred to as ‘Bubomi’, a Xhosa word meaning, ‘it is life’. “In conjunction with Tsogo Sun’s CSI programme, our financial literacy programme aims to create basic financial awareness and the tools to build a greater understanding for these children’s futures, fulfilling both organisations’ sustainability goals,” says Charles Reed, Head: Community Investment, Barclays Africa.
Twanano Ndobe, (age 19) at S.G. Mafaese Secondary School, has been a part of Tsogo Sun’s Soccer Academy since 2010 and recently participated in the Absa Financial Literacy programme. Ndobe says, “This programme has taught me to budget, why I should save, as well as the difference between a need and a want. I want to take what I have learnt home to tell my parents, to help them, but also to show what I have learnt through the programme besides soccer.” Ndobe hopes that soccer will play a role in his future life, but in the meantime, he plans to study law when he finishes school.
In its pilot phase, the collaboration around this financial literacy programme has reached more than 600 learners through Tsogo Sun’s Arts and Soccer Academies. “The group plans to extend the collaboration to teachers, suppliers and the participants’ parents through Absa’s Awareness-type training, within the next year. This expansion will ensure a bigger reach, positively impacting the community as a whole,” concludes Paine.