At the Trialogue Business in Society Virtual Conference 2020, Anthony Wilson-Prangley (GIBS) presented the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award criteria along with the 2019 winner, Investec Promaths programme. Mahlatse Nicolas Mmako, Investec CSI consultant, presented the company’s flagship programme. The award seeks to reward and acknowledge those CSI initiatives that are making inroads in the right spaces and in the correct way.


Wilson-Prangley, representing the adjudication panel, provided an overview of Trialogue’s CSI Positioning Matrix which was used as the adjudication approach. The positioning matrix consists of four types of CSI, namely grantmaking CSI, developmental CSI, commercial CSI and strategic CSI. The awards were focused on this last type, which sees the intersection of commercial benefit and social benefit.

Referring to the audience poll, which saw 50% of the online attendees indicating that their CSI efforts are strategic CSI initiatives, Wilson-Prangley encouraged future applicants to highlight both the developmental and corporate benefits of their efforts in their applications; not just the ‘soft’ benefits, but the strategic and competitive benefits.

Impressive shortlisted programmes included:

  • MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet
  • Cell C Take a Girl Child to work Day
  • Pick n Pay School Club
  • Mr Price Jump Start
  • WNS Youth4Change in partnership with Khulisa Social Solutions

Despite the impressive applications by the shortlisted programmes, Investec Promaths programme was the winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award for 2019. Wilson-Prangley described the programme as a long-running, highly strategic initiative with a lot of data behind it, showing its success over time. “It is very exciting, and we felt proud to present them with this award,” said Wilson-Prangley.

Investec Promaths

Mmako explained that Investec’s CSI efforts revolve around creating a country of active economic participants. The company does this by focusing on education and entrepreneurial initiatives. Mmako went on to describe the Investec Promaths initiative. which is run in partnership with a non-profit organisation called Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology. The goal of the programme is to enable young people that show potential in maths and science to realise this potential. They do this by closing the gaps they face in their existing education, such as the shortage of adequately qualified maths and science teachers, the shortage of learning materials, over-crowded classrooms, and so on.

The programme consists of eight Investec-funded Promaths centres across South Africa, which gives the Promaths learners in grades 10-12 access to weekend extra-curricular tutoring, provision of learning materials and technology support (devices, data, online learning materials). Covid-19 saw the programme moving from in-person tutoring to online tutoring only in a bid to save the academic year. Support is also provided to alumni who have gone on to study at tertiary institutions, in the form of Investec-funded alumni chapters.

Mmako indicated that the programme had seen tremendous impact over the past 15 years, matriculating approximately 1 200 learners each year and contributing between 5% and 6% to South Africa’s national distinctions in maths and science annually. Mmako reemphasised that Promaths is about expanding an individual learner’s study and career opportunities on the back of an excellent education in maths and science. He said: “We are excited and privileged to be recognised as an initiative that makes a meaningful difference.”

Mmako made a call to those in positions of influence and leadership, who are interested in making a meaningful contribution to SA, to partner with Investec and open more Promaths centres to “give the African child the opportunity to realise their true potential – if we had triple the numbers that we were able to matriculate every year we could make an even bigger impact”.

Wilson-Prangley concluded by once again complimenting Investec’s application for their strong use of data and their focus on outputs, outcomes and impact-level measures as opposed to only focusing on inputs and activities. He made a call to the CSI sector and future applicants to emulate this approach and move towards impact measurement, which requires diligence and can be enabled by technology and tracking over time.

Image: Mahlatse Nicolas Mmako, Anthony Wilson-Prangley

Article was written by Kelly Brownell

Photo taken by Janelle Strydom