Massmart Annual Report 2008

More than five million primary school learners go to school hungry, and not just for knowledge.


That's why we're helping organisations like the African Children's Feeding Scheme to provide nutrition at Schools.
Game container kitchen at Tshebidiswane Primary School in Pimville Soweto

Corporate Social Investment


There are commentators who believe that it is enough for business to pay taxes, and that social upliftment is a distraction from business that should be the responsibility of the state. We disagree. It is clear to us that it requires the combined resources and expertise of both the private and public sector to overcome the social impoverishment caused by South Africa’s Apartheid legacy.

Corporate Social Investment (CSI) scorecard
Sustainability indicator 2008 2007 2006
Total Group CSI spend including staff and supplier contributions (R) 19 011 175,83 11 511 509,84 10 581 877
Total Group CSI spend less staff and supplier contributions (R) 16 664 391,64 9 805 384,58 8 097 368
Total Group spend as a % of profit after tax 1,2 1,1 1,6
Massmart Holdings (R) 778 741,65 1 533 258,31 736 593
Massdiscounters (Dion and Game) (R) 5 300 000 3 399 996 3 422 450
Masswarehouse (Makro) (R) 6 897 874,52 1 433 952 1 419 291
Masscash (CBW, Jumbo and Shield) (R)* 2 916,283 2 037 360,27 1 301 323
Massbuild (Builders Warehouse) (R) 771 492,47 1 400 818 1 217 711
Staff, customer and supplier contributions (R) 2 346 782,19 1 706 125,26 2 484 509

2008 Feedback

Establish a centrally coordinated national school-feeding scheme.
We have implemented and applied standards which require all divisions to contribute a portion of their CSI spend to school-feeding projects.

Implement a programme to raise awareness about missing children.
All editions of our internal magazine, which is distributed nationally to 17 000 readers, now feature photographs and details of missing children.

Provide selected NGOs with the opportunity to add social research questions to Massmart consumer research surveys.
Although significant interest has been expressed by NGOs in this proposal, we have made no implementation progress.

2009 Priorities

Develop vegetable tunnel gardens to support feeding at a minimum of five Gauteng based primary schools.

Increase level of formal CSI involvement in all African countries in which we have a retail presence.

Review social development impact of icon CSI projects.


Our contribution to a sustainable South African citizenry

Some of the challenges South Africans face every day include fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, a lack of food security, unemployment and a lack of educational and business opportunities for capable young people. That’s why each of our trading entities donates one percent of after-tax profit to meet pressing social needs, with a preference for aiding educational initiatives, among the poorest of the poor.

We try wherever possible, to identify opportunities to leverage our retail capabilities to optimise the impact of our social upliftment activities. For example, our food wholesaling skills are valuable for supporting school-feeding programmes that improve learner nutrition. Likewise, we leverage our expertise as back-to-school retailers to meet teachers’ and students’ stationery needs through our Tools-to-Teach stationery distribution programme.

Feeding South African school children

The Department of Education understands that a hungry child cannot learn, and we support this by asking all of our divisions to participate in our group-wide priority to provide assistance to school-feeding programmes.

Makro helps fund established feeding schemes through donations to organisations like the African Children’s Feeding Scheme. Game and CBW container kitchens, meanwhile, provide immediate solutions for schools that want to be included in a feeding programme, but don’t have the necessary food preparation areas on-site to qualify. Most recently, Builders Warehouse has begun developing a programme to roll out vegetable tunnels to schools, facilitating high-intensity, cultivation of fresh produce to improve nutrition for learners.

Stocking classrooms with Tools-to-Teach

School budgets aren’t always sufficient to meet the needs of public schools in South Africa. Because our Game and Makro chains have significant stationery and office supplies, it makes sense to provide deserving schools with access to these classroom essentials.

Two programmes, Tools-to-Teach and the Excellence in Education Awards, provide opportunities for our divisions to contribute. Massdiscounters provides teacher classroom packs for public school educators in the case of the former and Makro provides Excellence in Education Award recipients with stationery vouchers worth R1 425 000*.

Improving employability

Because unemployment in South Africa is at 23%**, our educational focus includes employment-related training. Our preference is to deliver quick access to business ventures for fledgling entrepreneurs, which is why we’ve partnered with a franchise operator and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund to provide unemployed youths with access to Hot Dog Café and Coffee Stop franchises in our stores.

We’re also helping rural women establish new businesses, often retail-related, through our fund established with the Women’s Development Businesses (WDB) small business institution. So far, we’ve given R2 000 000 to help fund these micro-enterprises for 1 365 women.

Of course, our educational work for adults is not limited to entrepreneurs. Massbuild’s Men on the Side of the Road programme teaches artisan skills to unemployed men and women, often resulting in employment with our building contractor customers or at one of our Builders Warehouse stores.

Finally, for young people who wish to continue their studies before finding jobs, we aid matriculants who’ve earned good marks, but have no funding for tertiary studies, through annual tuition grants to the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA) in Cape Town. This small, but regular contribution helps promising young South Africans obtain high quality business degrees and life skills training geared for the modern workplace.

Responding to social crisis

The recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa outraged South Africans and the international community. In many cases the victims of these attacks were nationals from southern African countries in which we operate, so we didn’t hesitate to participate in relief efforts to assist affected people.

To help displaced foreign nationals in Rabie Ridge, we distributed 400 blankets, 650 personal hygiene packs and cases of baby food. This experience taught us the valuable lesson that while we may have the will, we are not sufficiently geared to respond quickly to social crisis. As a result, we are stockpiling relief supplies, including sufficient Red Cross approved blankets, for rapid distribution by our chains in crisis situations or disasters.


Extending CSI beyond our borders

Massmart operates in 14 African countries outside South Africa where the social support we offer lacks the disciplined structure and focus we have achieved in South Africa. We have therefor challenged our Game chain, which trades in eight African countries, to investigate the social relevance and feasibility of rolling out their Tools-to-Teach programme to deserving schools beyond South Africa’s borders.

* In 2008
**  Estimated by Statistics South Africa September 2007