PERFORMANCE

Socio-economic and community development

Our approach

As a major player in the base of the pyramid markets, contributing meaningfully to address inequality of opportunity and financial inclusion within society remains an ongoing area of focus for Blue Label Telecoms.

Our aim has been to transcend the purely philanthropic and compliance paradigm by going beyond traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) and embedding a "shared value"ethos in our transformation and business strategy.

This ethos defines how we partner with non-profit organisations to effect social change by aligning our programmes and initiatives to our business strategy and long-term growth and sustainability objectives.

Trust Blu Foundation NPC

The Trust Blu Foundation was formally launched in February 2020. The aim of the Foundation is to connect non-profit organisations and social enterprise innovators with a unique blend of financial and technology support and other resources to enable them to amplify their impact.

These organisations understand the dynamics and needs of marginalised and vulnerable communities and are therefore pivotal in effecting meaningful impact and socio-economic transformation. Our approach is to proactively work with them to tackle the complex socio-economic challenges by providing access to funding, as well as leveraging off our expertise in technology and innovation to create new solutions to address inequality. In so doing, we are able to assist these organisations in facilitating sustainable economic inclusion, while simultaneously strengthening our brand equity and market reach.

 

Focus areas

The foundation is mandated to focus on two key areas, namely youth development and entrepreneurship. All programmes and initiatives are underpinned by the introduction and incorporation of information and cellular technology (ICT), as well as innovation. At Blue Label we see investing in ICT and embracing technology as necessary in order to bridge the digital divide, thereby achieving a more inclusive digital society. We believe that by doing so we can fast track positive socio-economic transformation and meaningful participation of blacks, women, youth and people with disabilities in South Africa.

 

 

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Africa

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Africa (BGCSA) remained our flagship CSI project for the year. The clubs' mission is to inspire and enable our disadvantaged youth to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens and to assist them to attain sustainable access to economic and educational opportunities postmatric.

BGCSA supports over 1 800 children annually across seven clubs, namely Pimville, Protea Glen, Bertrams, Alexandra, Vrededorp, Maraisburg and Mofolo.

 

Focus areas

An integral part of BGCSA's operations is introducing and ensuring all children are computer literate.

All facilities have daily programmes that teach and enhance young people's ICT skills, including equipment to support these programmes. The funding received from Blue Label was allocated to these programmes, both for the resources required to run the programmes daily, as well as the capital expenditure for items like hardware and software, that are required to set up a club.


Uconomy Partnership and COVID-19 Relief

Uconomy and Uconomy Youth are social enterprises that aim to create and maintain an integrated network of self-sustainable economic ecosystems, which address unemployment from grassroots level. This is achieved through their three-layered approach that consists of youth, SMME and community development.

With the COVID-19 enforced shutdown, Uconomy was faced with the challenge of continued support to its SMMEs and youth. With the mentorship and support from Blue Label Telecoms and Trust Blu Foundation, Uconomy was able to mobilise over 3 000 unemployed and previously disadvantaged youth and and their small and microenterprise network and repurpose them to address the COVID-19 crisis. This entailed repositioning them as a final stage in the production of reusable face masks, disposable gowns, shoe covers and packaging of hand sanitiser. Blue Label Telecoms pledged to fund and supply the first order of 5000reusable face masks and 5000hand sanitisers. These were distributed through its partner non-profit organisations, namely Boys and Girls Clubs of South African and Afrika Tikkun.

Human Capital

Includes continuing subsidiary operations. Excluding offshore, discontinued and sold operations as well as associates and joint ventures.

  2020
R’000
  2019*
R’000  
Increase/ 
(decrease)
in spend 
 
CSI 9 706   10 613   (9)  
Donations 4 613   3 852   20   
* The prior year numbers have been restated to include the cost relating to the continuing operations only. CSI spend contracted with the reduced revenue following two months of COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Focus areas

The aim is to continue to develop a scalable production and distribution model in partnership with Uconomy that will enable the continued creation of jobs while addressing the ongoing need for COVID-19 interventions in disadvantaged communities.

Blue Label Alexandra Youth Development Programme

The Alexandra Cricket Development Programme is a life skills programme powered by a partnership between Blue Label Telecoms and the Cricket Company.

The programme takes place during school hours as a component of their Life Orientation sessions. It utilises the game of cricket to equip children with valuable tools to assist them with everyday life.

The programme is run in 12 primary schools in Alexandra and reaches approximately 10 000 children per year.

During the course of the year, the 15 students who demonstrate exceptional character and high potential in cricket are selected to form part of the Alex XI cricket team. The team plays in the Montrose night series where they interact and compete against Gauteng's top cricketing schools.

 

Focus areas

In line with our focus to bridge the digital divide in the underprivileged communities, the reading programme that makes use of tablets and the Edu reader app was further implemented at additional schools over a three-week period and approximately 1 000 children participated.

 

 

The Letsatsi Kasi-Village

The Letsatsi Kasi-Village is an urban township economic ecosystem development concept that seeks to combine multiple avenues of developmental funding into one project, which aims to create a network of microenterprise franchises while assisting them to establish access to market and supply chains.

 

Focus areas

The focus of the Letsatsi project is on the development of chic and modern containerised community-based microenterprise and entrepreneur hubs.

It reflects our proactive approach and commitment to micro and small enterprise development. These hubs offer a physically and technologically enabling environment for youth-driven microenterprises to incubate, scale and thrive with a view to "leap frog"them into the fourth industrial and digital revolution. By stimulating the demand side of the economy, we believe we can positively impact our youth unemployment crisis.

The first pilot Letsatsi Kasi-Village located in Nellmapius in the City of Tshwane was launched in December 2018. In 2020 six additional sites have been established, three in Orange Farm and three in Mamelodi.

Other projects

In addition to the above interventions, we continued to partner with other non-profit organisations to address social issues that our youth are exposed to, such as domestic violence, abuse and food security. JAM International, New Beginnings Foundation, Making a Difference Trust (Carte Blanche), Reach for a Dream and Women and Men against Child Abuse are some of our long-standing beneficiaries and have played a significant role in enabling our programmes over the last year.

 

Focus areas for 2020/2021

Significant resources and expertise have been allocated to our current programmes and initiatives through our newly created Trust Blu Foundation. Therefore, going forward our key focus is on consolidation and scale, as well as continued collaboration with our non-profit organisation and implementation partners.