Government has identified the Nkomazi district, where Malalane is situated, as being particularly poor and under- resourced. Government statistics indicate that many young children in Nkomazi do not grow up with a strong foundation in the early years. Many do not have birth certificates, many do not access government health services or have a Child Support Grant, many are not fed nutritious food, and the vast majority are not stimulated through play and early learning opportunities to ensure their success in school and in life. We are currently working with experts in the ECD field, NGOs and the Department of Social Development, amongst other role players, to identify what we as the major employer in this area can do to assist the community to overcome these issues.
In Hammarsdale in KwaZulu-Natal, we are working very closely with the LIMA Rural Development Foundation in order to identify a community project to be established in Hammarsdale. We have already had extensive engagements with community leaders, municipalities and local businesses, along with community workshops and extensive investigations into the Hammarsdale community. Together with local inhabitants, we will undertake a project that assists the Hammarsdale community to overcome the most pressing needs of the poor.
In partnership with the non-profit organisation Star Schools, to date we have assisted 500 underprivileged Grade 11 and 12 learners by providing access to extra lessons in Maths, Science and English. The impact of the project can be seen in the results of the 2014 Grade 12s:
- 100% pass rate on all four sites (Rustenburg, Malalane, Worcester and Hammarsdale)
- 76% achieved Bachelor's passes (qualifying for university admission)
- 44 distinctions were achieved amongst 164 candidates
- 100% pass rate in Maths and Science on three out of four sites.
In addition to this group-level initiative, our sugarsguar business unitTSB supports 10 Eco-Schools (a school environmental development programme that helps schools build their capacity to respond to environmental issues) and the Penreach Project (run by a private college with a developmental arm that reaches out to poorer schools).
Staff and community parenting programme in Worcester
The Positive Parenting Programme was developed to help improve parent-child interactions in households within the community of Worcester, an area affected by social problems such as drugs, alcoholism and gangsterism. With an emphasis on “learning through play”, the programme focuses on offering information and practical skills to parents of young children, to Early Childhood Development (ECD) leaders and the local Department of Social Development. Over 200 of our staff enrolled in the six-month course and 40 ECD sites from the Worcester community have also signed up for the programme, impacting over 2 000 children in the area.
Sports and recreational projects
RCL FOODS Foodcorp's Yum Yum brand sponsors the Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club (SCARC), which uses water sports as a way of engaging with and providing development opportunities for underprivileged youth in Soweto. The SCARC team performed exceptionally well this year in races such as the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the SA Sprints and the South African Sprint Canoeing Championships.
RCL FOODS sugar business unitTSB promotes local community upliftment through its annual soccer tournament, the TSB Selati Cup. The Selati Cup has become a visible sign of what can be achieved in areas where there are few facilities, and it has attracted the interest of other sponsors who fund infrastructure and youth development programmes around this initiative.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the chicken busienss unitRainbow supports the Amazulu Football Trust, which targets schools where Hammarsdale Star Schools learners come from, teaching them both soccer and life skills.
RCL FOODSRainbow supports the annual Young Performers musical production, which gives high school learners the opportunity to experience working with professional directors and musicians.
RCL FOODS supports LIV Village and Vukukhanye on a monthly basis with their running costs, and our BEE partner, Ikamva Labantu, supports many community projects in and around Cape Town.