South Africa’s social development needs are vast, and Air Products South Africa has a vested interest in seeing the country grow and prosper. Our socio-economic development programmes leverage well-considered partnerships to stretch deep into the communities, thus ensuring that poor, underprivileged and historically-disadvantaged people receive the assistance they so desperately need.
Every year, a percentage of our Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) is spent on socio-economic development programmes, with the youth and education as the core focus area of our strategy. The funds are allocated to schools, clinics, non-government organisations (NGOs), non–profit organisations (NPOs) and rural development initiatives in the communities in which we operate. These projects are largely identified and supported by Air Products employees at our facilities nationally, and more often than not, directly involve employees in the actual implementation.
At Air Products, we support a number of corporate social investment (CSI) projects and they are all structured according to a specific framework. The allocations are done at various levels and for different periods of time. The donations are done in one of three ways:
The long-term beneficiaries supported by Air Products focuses on the youth and education across different disciplines, including technology, agriculture, and social services, to name a few.
Air Products has launched special CSI projects in the past which formed part of big upgrade projects at a specific facility. An example of such a project was the Corporate Philanthropy Project in Vanderbijlpark. This fund, also known as the ‘G-Plant CSI Fund’, was created when we launched the ‘G-Plant’ at our facility in Vanderbijlpark in 2014 – the aim of this specific project was to utilize the funds for upliftment projects at schools in the area. Suppliers who worked with us on the ‘G-Plant’ project were invited to make a donation towards this fund.
Besides the categories mentioned above, Air Products launched a national ‘WitnessHappiness’ project which focuses on Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in July 2016.
This project, which focuses on the youth and education, is strategically aligned to the company’s CSI strategy. Each of the participating facilities had the opportunity to identify an ECD in their community of operation to become the recipient of allocated funds and donations over a specific period. A key objective of the project is to form long-term relationships with the educators and learners and to make a visible difference at the centres, as well as in the wider communities.
Through WitnessHappiness, various projects such as focusing on the upliftment of the educators, learners, and the centres’ facilities are rolled out and as safety is extremely important to Air Products, there has been a drive to improve health and safety aspects at the centres.
Since the launch of the project there have been infrastructure projects at the majority of the centres. An audit was done at each of the centres to identify the most pressing needs, and funds were allocated accordingly. Besides the infrastructure projects, Air Products’ corporate social investment (CSI) Committee decided on pre-determined special days on which employees can visit the centres. The special days celebrated at the centres includes Mandela Day, Literacy Day, World Maths Day and a Year-end party every year.
At Air Products, it is all about making a difference.
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