In contrast with the traditional view that the financial profit motive was paramount, SSK recognised that today we must consider social responsibility and social responsibility programs, as long term investments. The rationale behind our social responsibility / involvement, is to create better conditions and a better future, for our communities.
SSK’s social responsibility programs are supported by four pillars (Community, Environment, Market Square and Workplace Focus), that are closely linked with the Black Economic Empowerment Policy (BEE) in South Africa. The goal is sustainability and to ensure that all four pillars in SSK’s integrated social responsibility program are addressed.
We address them as follows:
1.1. Community Focus (philanthropy)
Community-based projects are the most visible aspects of SSK’s CSI activities. These projects are dependent on direct interaction between SSK and the community, in order to generate social and economic vitality in the region. We are involved in five ways:
- Membership of organisations
- Community involvement of staff
1.2. Environmental Focus
In recent years, public concern about the environmental impact of commercial activities, has increased significantly. There is a growing awareness of the need to implement sustainable development. Neighbourhood-based projects go beyond the legislative obligations, and focus on greener economic growth. The results of such projects are quantifiable and measured as part of a quest for continuous improvement.
1.3. Market Square Focus
Market Square Focus consists of two major elements; SSK’s suppliers and SSK’s customers. The co-operative has an interest to ensure that their suppliers offer sufficient payment and working conditions to their employees, have an effective environmental policy in place, and conduct business activities in a transparent manner that is in line with good corporate behaviour.
With regard to customers, SSK seeks to responsibly implement sales and marketing policies, and to train our staff on how to utilise these policies. Market Square Focus helps SSK to nurture a corporate culture that values the needs and diversity of our customers’ expectations.
1.4. Workplace Focus
Employees provide the knowledge, productivity, customer service and innovation needed for the successful execution of SSK’s business activities. Therefore, the continued success of SSK, depends on the dedication of its staff. SSK continuously strives to promote the preservation and development of their staff, and nurture a workplace environment that attracts candidates of the highest calibre. Projects within this focus group deal with health and safety, continuous skills development, scholarships, work-life balance, staff diversity and cultural awareness.
SSK budgets on an annual basis in order to make funds available for the implementation of the social responsibility program, by an approved process that guidelines grants.