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Johannesburg, 7 March 2019 – Businesses form an integral part of the communities in which they operate. Therefore, it stands to reason that, similar to other responsible citizens, businesses should also play a positive role and invest in the communities in which they operate, so says the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba.

“Everything we do as the business community impacts, one way or the other, on the communities in which we operate in. We should, therefore, strive to give back to the members of those communities,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He warned, however, that corporate social investment (CSI) projects should not be carried out as tick-box exercises. Instead, he said they should be meaningful and constructive and benefit community members in a sustainable manner.

To celebrate companies that go out of their way to invest in communities in which they operate, SEIFSA will present the CSI Award to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2017 and December 2018 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries.

In 2018, the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year Award was scooped by Schneider Electric which, according to the judges in this category, not only complied with legislative and other requirements, but also genuinely gave back to society in a manner that creates a lasting impact.

Commenting on this category at the time, the judges said: “In an environment where the struggle to survive and prosper is challenging on its own, giving back to society becomes even more important. There are many companies in the country that have embraced these challenges and go the extra mile year after year to give back to society and make an impact on the communities in which they operate – and it is only appropriate that we honour and celebrate them”.

Other awards that form the seven categories of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:

  • The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in its ownership and the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team between July 2017 and December 2018. This award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 people against others of similar size.
  • The Health and Safety Award of the Year will be offered to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2017 and December 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year;
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018 2018;
  • The Environment Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations in 2018.

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline date of   26 April 2019. Participants can enter by visiting the SEIFSA Awards website (www.seifsaawards.co.za).

The Awards are open to all companies in the metals and engineering sector, and not only those that are members of Associations affiliated to SEIFSA. Awards winners will be honoured at a ceremony that will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on  23 May 2019.

 SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 23 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1600 companies employing around 200 000 employees. The Federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.
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