Investing for a better tomorrow – a round-up of our CSI initiatives

Since our demerger from Investec, we have been hard at work to establish our own CSI strategy, building on some of our established initiatives and introducing exciting new partnerships.

Oct 20, 2021

5 minutes

Since our demerger from Investec, we have been hard at work to establish our own CSI strategy, building on some of our established initiatives and introducing exciting new partnerships.

At Ninety One, our purpose is to invest for a better tomorrow. This not only relates to how we invest for our clients and advocate for positive change, but also to how we inhabit our ecosystem. Since our demerger from Investec last year, we have been hard at work to establish our own corporate social investment strategy, building on some of our established initiatives and introducing exciting new partnerships.

We believe change starts at home. Our main charitable work is directed towards conservation, education and community development, and we are pleased to share some highlights of our CSI initiatives.

Ninety One ‘Changeblazer’ bursaries

Ninety One ‘Changeblazer’ bursaries

We launched our undergraduate bursary scheme in 2020 as a way to support the missing middle and address the severe skills shortage across many sectors in our economy. Our programme offers undergraduate and postgraduate research bursaries and supports not just finance-related fields of study but also degrees in technology and computer science, engineering, healthcare, psychology and education.

Our imperative is to attract the best talent from varying backgrounds and the programme is designed to help them build a rewarding career. We want to help strengthen South Africa’s productive labour force in sectors where skills are most needed. This year, we awarded 33 bursaries to talented young South Africans. We look forward to growing our cohort of Changeblazers every year.

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Access to clean water for the people of Thembisa, Mpumalanga

Access to clean water for the people of Thembisa, Mpumalanga

There are many rural communities across South Africa who do not have access to clean running water. Villages where people have to walk – sometimes up to 5km – to return with only what they can carry. Often this water is contaminated and unfit for human consumption.

One such village is Thembisa Village, in Mpumalanga. With a population of 3 800, and the closest clean open water source 5km away, some local villagers were forced to collect contaminated water in 5-litre bottles, as this was all they could carry.

Ninety One, together with the Entrepreneurial Development Trust, found a solution for the residents. The water they so desperately needed was under their feet all the time. So, with the expertise of a firm called Innovation Africa, the problem was solved. Two boreholes were sunk, tanks and solar power pumps were positioned on scaffolding 10m above the ground and a security guard to protect against theft and vandalism was appointed.

The ongoing viability of the project is ensured through community involvement and funding of R10 per person, which pays for the guard and any necessary repairs, which are also undertaken by community members who have been trained up to manage the maintenance.

JL Zwane Community Centre

JL Zwane Community Centre

Almost two decades ago, Ninety One and other corporate sponsors provided the means to build the JL Zwane Community Centre in Gugulethu, a township in Cape Town. Today, this centre serves the needs of an entire community, providing a wide range of services including education, adult literacy and HIV/Aids counselling and care. We remain committed to JL Zwane, having partnered with Living Maths to provide extra maths lessons to more than 140 learners every year.

songo.info

songo.info

Dating back to 2015, our partnership with sports and education charity songo.info enables its development programme to be provided to more children in the township of Kayamandi in Stellenbosch. Their objective is for every child that comes through the programme to go on to be a confident, well-rounded individual who is gainfully employed and a contributing member of the community. It currently has 50 children from ages 6 to 24 years within the songo.info family.

Songo.info has humble beginnings: from founder and former mountainbiking world champion Christoph Sauser’s dream of providing a safe space for children to play on bikes, it has evolved into a sports and academic support programme focused on creating a long-term impact for the children in Kayamandi.

Cycling into the future – the power of partnerships

In 2015, Ninety One joined forces with Jan Scanell (AKA Jan Braai) to combine efforts and raise funds to get the high school children from Calitzdorp bicycles from Qhubeka, a global charity that moves people forward with bicycles in Africa. Calitzdorp is an impoverished community where many children spend a significant amount of time walking long distances to get to school.

The partnership grew to include AVBOB and the Professional Provident Society (PPS) and over the last few years more than 500 bicycles have been donated to school children in Calitzdorp. In addition to the bicycles, AVBOB this year extended the initiative to donate a new container library to the Gamka-Oos Primary School.

Tusk Conservation Awards

Tusk Conservation Awards

Co-created in 2013, Ninety One proudly partners with Tusk on the annual Tusk Conservation Awards. These awards recognise outstanding achievements by extraordinary people towards conservation in Africa, highlighting inspirational conservation work ranging from the protection of endangered species and threatened habitat to the promotion of environmental education and the development of community-driven conservation.

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Joining forces to amplify the good we can do

Joining forces to amplify the good we can do

As the extent of the destruction wreaked by Covid-19 became evident over the past year, we also launched a charity-matching programme, aimed at amplifying the contribution made by the people at Ninety One to a wide range of worthwhile initiatives.

Over the last financial year, we were able to match over R6 million to projects supported by our staff. Earlier this year, when the wildfires destroyed parts of the University of Cape Town campus and surrounding slopes of Table Mountain, we joined forces with staff members to donate to the restoration of the historic Jagger Library and contribute to the SPCA and Volunteer Wildfire Services. In July, following the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, we were privileged to partner with incredible relief organisations like Gift of the Givers to support their efforts in getting much needed basic supplies to those hardest hit.

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