Worldwide examination of the role that
companies perform within their operational spheres has resulted in a review of
the drivers that can, and should, motivate corporate entities to recognise and
fulfil their roles as responsible corporate citizens.
That sounds like an excellent ideal, but
what does it really mean in the cut and thrust of today’s highly competitive
marketplace? Gone are the days when bottom-line profit was the company imperative.
This has happily been replaced with a far broader understanding of the role of
a caring, responsible corporate citizen.
While making a profit will always be a
measureable objective for a company, today’s understanding of responsibility
has added a whole new dimension to what should, and must, be expected of any
corporate role-player in the South African arena: responsibility to the space
in which the company operates. This extends to environmental and social
Airports Company South Africa is
comparatively fortunate in that it operates in nine specifically designated
airport precincts. This simplifies the qualification process for potential
project beneficiaries but equally heightens the value of supporting local
As a component of the
operations of a state-owned company, managing a substantial Corporate Social
Investment budget carries stringent oversight and governance obligations. The
CSI portfolio, through its managing committee, is responsible for:
Custodianship of the CSI strategy development and review
Ensuring that these strategies integrate with the overall business strategy
The identification and implementation of projects at corporate level, with the proviso that the selected projects complement business objectives
The provision of strategic support for airport-based projects, both in their identification and implementation
Securing approval from the CSI committee for all key CSI projects, while providing guidance on opportunistic interventions that stand to benefit the business
Providing an overall administrative function for the portfolio
Managing the reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the function.
Over the years, Airports Company South
Africa has endeavoured to be a responsible and caring corporate citizen,
pursuing key strategic projects that have enabled the company to make
meaningful contributions towards improving the quality of life of disadvantaged
The focus of our programmes is in the areas
of community upliftment, care for the environment and supporting people with
disabilities. Empowerment of women, youth development, education and training
are critical subsets of these categories. Involvement of Airports Company South
Africa staff members in CSI projects is a critical element of the company’s
strategic focus. As will be seen from many of the projects in which Airports
Company South Africa is involved, staff participation is an objective that has
been more than adequately met.
Airports Company South Africa has, for many
years, given priority to providing access to, and means of mobility for people
with physical disabilities through projects that enhance their integration into
society, provide physical support, infrastructure improvement, skills
development, education and awareness. Three long-term initiatives support this
objective: Wheelchair Tennis, the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OCC), the
Wheelchair Donation Programme and the Disability Trade & Lifestyle Expo and
Each of the nine airports has ‘adopted’ one
or more schools with the objective of getting involved by identifying needs and
then working to satisfy them. This can range from upgrading school premises to
undertaking maintenance tasks, supplying teaching aids and satisfying other
requirements that would otherwise be beyond the capacity of the school.
Community support is close to the hearts of
all airport CSI committees and is demonstrated through involvement in a
diversity of projects, ranging from child feeding schemes, through support of
crèches to adult education to enhance employment opportunities.
The impact that man has on the natural
environment is undeniable. While programmes are conducted by Airports Company
South Africa to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, the company’s
CSI programme is able to take a more holistic approach. This is undertaken by
support of projects, at a corporate level, through World Wildlife Fund South
Africa (WWF), BirdLife South Africa and Wildlands Conservation Trust. All of
the projects have direct relevance to Airports Company South Africa.
Wheelchair tennis is a young sport in South Africa, now only in its eleventh year. Airports Company South Africa has been the main sponsor of the sport, through Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA), for the past nine years. It is gratifying that this support has enabled the sport to flourish, and today, more than 450 players receive coaching each week at 45 active development centres across South Africa...more
Largely implemented through the programmes of the individual airports, this component of the overall company objectives has advanced as progressively as any other in recent years..more
Women’s Volunteer Programme
Airports Company South Africa’s Women’s Volunteer Programme is a Corporate Social Investment initiative that allows employees to play a significant role in making a positive contribution towards the development of our communities. Employees are the custodians of our brand promise: ‘moving people, changing lives’. Through this programme the volunteers are empowered to make a positive difference at special schools around our airports that provide education for learners with disabilities...more
Responsibility for the effect that we have as individuals and organisations on the environment in which we live and operate has become far more accepted in the past few years. King III and the Global Reporting Initiative have provided clear guidelines for reporting obligations and these, in turn, have had a considerable influence on attitudes towards the environment...more
The barriers to economic opportunity are many and varied, and are compounded by skills shortages, lack of support for small enterprises, as well as limited access to financial resources...more
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Moving people, changing lives
Airports Company South Africa is in the business of moving people – connecting people with their loved ones and destinations for business and leisure. And for those who visit our shores for the first time, the Company provides a window through which they can experience our beautiful land, its heritage and people, first hand. At the same time, Airports Company South Africa provides a logistics platform to a variety of role players who all act, in unison, to deliver an efficient and seamless travel experience to our customers. It is these people, the travellers, that the Airports Company South Africa staff, our business partners and stakeholders touch and influence every day. Together we spare no energy, and we give our best to make their movement hassle-free, both in the experience we offer, and in the infrastructure we provide (the environment).
For this reason, the company’s Corporate Social Investment strategy is premised on the fundamental business aspiration of moving people, changing lives. The Company’s selected CSI programmes are strongly linked to its business purpose – that of facilitating people movement, travel and tourism in and around South Africa.
Airports Company South Africa’s social investment spend is focused on areas impacted directly by its business operations - mobility, community development and care for the environment. Women empowerment, youth development, education and training are critical elements in these areas, whose selected projects are intended to make a difference in ordinary people’s day to day lives.