The group is committed to improving the lives of the disadvantaged communities in the areas in which we operate. Our CSI programme is needs-driven and directed towards establishing in and with the community the promotion of health, the establishment of good relations, improving access to education and training, and protecting and rehabilitating the natural environment. This is the product of continuous engagement and consultation. In the past year, the focus has been on education, with the majority of the initiatives addressing the challenges faced in the public schools in the communities in which we operate. Despite financial constraints imposed by the drought, in the past financial year over half a million rand was spent on corporate social investment (“CSI”). In addition to this expenditure, the group also makes resources and expertise available to maximise its social impact.
With the progress of the macadamia project in northern Mozambique, numerous potential CSI projects have been identified and a budget has been allocated for these. In the current year $30 000 has been set aside for the rebuild of a complete block of classrooms at a local school. An ablution facility will be constructed at the school, electricity will be provided for lighting in the classrooms and running water will be piped on site for the learners. The funding of an additional teacher and her housing will be sponsored. A training centre offering agricultural extension services to the community farmers is also planned for this year. The training centre will focus on education on crop and seed selection, tree propagation, farming methods, good environmental practices and sustainability.
The riparian zones on the Gurue farm are undergoing rehabilitation with the removal of exotic vegetation and reestablishment of flora indigenous to the area. This has resulted in an influx of animal, bird and insect life which historically occurred naturally in the area. The increased bee activity is particularly beneficial to the pollination of the macadamia trees. In the 2016/17 financial year special attention will be given to the assistance of the Mawewe community who is our joint venture partner in the operation of the Komatipoort Estate in Mpumalanga.