• Director of Ceremonies
  • Honourable Councillors here present
  • Municipal Officials
  • Officials from the Department of Labour
  • Officials from other Government Departments
  • Leaders from Corporate Entities
  • Representatives from Development Agencies
  • Distinguished Guests


Ladies and Gentlemen


Good Evening!!


It is my sincere honour and privilege to welcome you all to this important networking session of the CSI Forum. I am quite humbled by this opportunity of rubbing shoulders with representatives of key stakeholders here tonight.


Let me at the very beginning state that there is undoubtedly a profound revolution unfolding in the global business world that goes by many names: corporate social investment – corporate responsibility – corporate citizenship – sustainability of people, planet and profits, and - business in society. Allow me to quote just a few quotations from some of the leading captains of industry on this subject of corporate social investment:


  • From Ian Davis, the CEO of McKinsey – a global management consulting firm (Quote and unquote) : “Social issues are not so much peripheral to the business of business as fundamental to it.”
  • From  Hank McKinnel, CEO of Pfizer- which is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company: Quote – “Progress in corporate citizenship is among our top priorities because it is a key to fulfilling our mission of becoming the world’s most valued company to stakeholders.”
  • And lastly from Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM – a multinational technology and consulting corporation. Quote/Unquote: “Leaders in business, government, education and all of civil society must learn how to help mature the global enterprise in ways that will contribute to social, environmental and human progress around the planet.”


Within the South African context, corporate social investment has a pivotal role to play in bringing about meaningful transformation to the benefit of all. Quite clearly, the social needs facing our country are huge and cannot be overcome by government acting alone.


It therefore becomes the moral duty of the private sector and development agencies to make a difference by supporting projects that benefit especially the historically disadvantaged sectors of our society.


With corporate social investment becoming more and more strategically focussed, it also makes sense for businesses to align their CSI spending with their core business objectives and imperatives. Such an approach is critically important as it moves CSI out of the sphere of charity into one in which true partnerships with beneficiaries, government and the NGOs bring about long-term sustainable development to the benefit of all.


As local government, we appreciate the initiative taken by the Corporate Social Investment Forum to promote and support economic, social and skills development through economic growth in our province, our district and of course in our own city – Matlosana.


Equally, the CSI Forum provides feedback to the government on the effectiveness of its policies and the activities that will enhance the ability of province and local municipalities to create sustainable employment for our people.


All of us as government, the private sector and civil society have a responsibility to ensure economic transformation and development take centre stage in our noble quest to build better and sustainable communities. Business in particular has a bigger role to play in providing the investment, employment and income that are so desperately needed in our country today.


This CSI Forum must be guided by its membership. It’s networks and by a wide range of concerns raised by representatives from industry, education and community sectors. Through ongoing engagement, all stakeholders must ensure that the Forum remains relevant, proactive and conscious of the constantly changing nature of the province and the district in which we live.


As municipality, we value the contribution of the Forum and hope that it will go a long way in addressing the three inter-related strategic priorities of human development and information-sharing, economic development and business growth and employment creation and training.


Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely hope and expect that this networking session will necessarily contribute to a free exchange of ideas and experiences in the critical area of corporate social investment.


Allow me now Director of Ceremonies to officially and heartily welcome one and all to this Networking Session and wish the Forum successful deliberations when it formally meets tomorrow.


Lo Amogetswe Bagaetsho!


Almal is welkom!


I thank you.


This evening networking session is crucial for empowering one another through information and experience sharing. Quite clearly, sharing information in an effective and well planned manner gives business and community groups the advantage of being able to access the latest information and ensures that any activities undertaken in our area is based on the latest available data.

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