The winner of the inaugural Trialogue Strategic CSI Award was announced at a gala breakfast on 2 December in Johannesburg. The winning corporate social investment (CSI) initiative was Netcare’s Sexual Assault Centres.
Realising benefit for business and society
Strategic CSI is defined as CSI that has a positive developmental impact as well as positive impacts for the business (beyond reputational benefit). The aim of Trialogue’s new award is to recognise social investment projects in South Africa that exemplify best practice in strategic CSI.
In 2014, Trialogue received 29 entries from 18 companies and corporate foundations. These were assessed by two independent judges, Stan Hardman and Anthony Wilson-Prangley. Social benefit was measured against visible outputs, beneficial outcomes and impact, while business benefit was measured in terms of recognition of contribution, stakeholder benefit and competitive benefit.
Netcare builds skills and systems, while helping survivors
It is an unfortunate reality that many South Africans will need a safe space to receive treatment and support after surviving a sexual assault. Netcare aims to provide this through 37 centres within their hospital emergency departments around the country.
The treatment is a multifaceted approach covering emotional, psychological, medical, physical and sanitary care. Netcare staff members are trained to handle sexual assault cases and the best practice they have developed is shared with state healthcare workers. Netcare has developed a close relationship with SAPS, assisting them with evidence gathering and storage in order to facilitate prosecutions.
What the judges said
The judges had the following to say about Netcare’s Sexual Assault Centres: “In terms of the company context, the initiative is deeply embedded in Netcare and leverages employees and the core business of Netcare. It has helped to continuously improve the way Netcare handles these difficult cases.
In a societal sense, it has clearly measured outputs and outcomes. It also has a transformative broader impact through the support of investigating police services. Enabling government to be more effective is important if we are to leverage CSI efforts for a greater impact.”
Netcare makes an impact
Netcare Sexual Assault Centres have assisted 10 226 survivors between 2001 and 2013. Eighty percent of the survivors who received free treatment and support were not covered by medical aid and were without the means to pay.
Netcare remains the only private healthcare provider in South Africa to provide this crucial service on a national and sustainable basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Trialogue Strategic CSI Award includes a double-page profile of the project in the annual Trialogue CSI Handbook. The Netcare Sexual Assault Centres programme will also be featured as a case study session at the Trialogue CSI Conference, taking place at the Wanderers Club in Illovo on 5 and 6 May 2015.