Early childhood education has long been identified as one of the key factors which could drive greater societal development, including higher levels of employment and the eradication of social inequality. 

Many South African companies have taken heed of the importance of early childhood development (ECD) and education in addressing the country’s challenges, with almost eight of ten firms surveyed by Trialogue in 2023 indicating they supported education-related causes through their corporate social investing. 

“Investment in the early years of education yields better outcomes – not only for individuals, but for societies, economies and countries – than any other interventions later on in life,” said Nonkqubela Maliza, Volkswagen SA’s director of Corporate and Government Affairs, told Trialogue in 2020. 

“Through education and youth development, people have access to opportunities that can drive up income levels and contribute towards reducing inequality. 

“Children should be able to read for meaning by the time they are 10 years old. We believe this is a gateway to all education and learning,” said Maliza. 

 VWSA invests in early childhood education initiatives through its Community Trust. 

In a report published on its website in April, family lifestyle publication Baby’s and Beyond endorses this viewpoint. Citing findings from Trialogue’s 2023 Business in Society, the article told its readers that “78% of firms supported the education sector last year (2023)”. 

The article also references the Trialogue Business in Society Conference 2023, at which keynote speaker Dr Nicky Roberts stated that ECD stands to benefit greatly from CSI initiatives.  

ECD is also one of the topics that will be explored at this year’s Trialogue Business in Society Conference. In partnership with Vodacom, speakers will discuss the journey of South Africa’s children from the classroom to the boardroom. Click here to register for the conference. 

Read the full Baby’s and Beyond article here.