Corporate Social Investment

 

At Ackermans, we are committed to doing business in ways that will bring value to our local communities, to the lives of our staff members and towards taking care of the environment. That’s why we called our CSI initiatives “Ububele”, which means kindness and generosity. Here’s a look at some of our Ububele projects.

Our Ububele initiatives have these 3 pillars:

Community

We partner with schools in the Western Cape to support early language learning among children. The literacy initiative gets the province reading and having fun!

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Employees

We’re committed to the personal development of all our employees by providing a range of services to nurture and accelerate their growth and well-being.

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Environment

Through recycling, reusing and saving water, we have the power to make a positive impact on the environment. We aim to support initiatives that will make homes and workplaces more eco-friendly.

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UBUBELE IN THE COMMUNITY

Ackermans school initiative

 

The Early Childhood Development initiative, in partnership with Wordworks and the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, supports early language learning and literacy among children. A national survey conducted in 2011 indicated that 72% of grade 3 learners were illiterate. In addition, most Early Childhood Development facilities are poorly equipped, making it difficult for educators and learners to make the most of this vital period when learners are most receptive to development. We saw an opportunity to make a difference in our community by helping address these challenges. We’ve partnered with 13 schools in the Western Cape where we introduce new literacy programmes, improve teachers’ skills and provide stationery and classroom upgrades. The participating schools are divided into two clusters, Belhar and Langa, each with a leading primary school and an educare centre that feeds each primary school.

Donations

Stock and funds are donated to a wide range of beneficiaries throughout the year, including educare centres and schools. The Ackermans Club also donated to various charities, and twenty Club members won school fees worth R10 000 each. In addition, new store openings are also used as opportunities to give back to the community. When a new store opens, a charity in the area receives a donation.

The following initiatives were supported through donations:

Voice of the Cape Radio

Ackermans partnered with Voice of the Cape Radio station to raise awareness of breast cancer. A donation of clothing was made to “Reach for Recovery”, a breast cancer supporting group.

World Read Aloud Day

All our store, DC and Support Centre Phadimas participated by reading the story Sisanda’s Gift to 6 772 adults and children. Many Phadimas also took the story home and read it to their own children or children in their neighbourhood. In addition, a group of Phadimas visited the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, making a donation of 200 Phadibears, colouring books, crayons and cookies.

Employee Volunteering Programme

40 teams visited 36 charities with 1 999 beneficiaries benefiting from the programme. In addition to the company contribution, Phadimas went the extra mile and raised extra donations from sponsors.

 

Social Enterprise Development

The Kuils River Distribution Centre’s hanger recycling activity is outsourced to Chris Steytler Industries. This non-profit organisation creates sustainable job opportunities for people with disabilities, resulting in permanent employment of 20 people.

Western Province Blood Transfusion

Western Province Blood Transfusion Services visited Ackermans Support Centre six times during the past year. During these visits, employees volunteer to donate blood.

We care – a Product Technology Ububele initiative

Phadimas made the following items, which were distributed to various charities:

  • 400 teddy bears, named Phadibears
  • 19 sets of wooden blocks
  • 72 mobiles for babies

On Mandela Day, Phadimas also donated food and groceries.
This was the first year all the DCs also celebrated Mandela Day. Men’s shirts were repurposed into beautiful bags with handles and donated to charities.

 

UBUBELE IN THE ENVIRONMENT

 

Recycling at our Support Centre

Our Support Centre currently runs two recycling programmes, namely printer cartridges, and boxes and paper.

  • Green Office collects printer cartridges for remanufacturing and reuse. A total of 135 printer cartridges have been collected and 76 could be recycled.
  • During the financial year, 59% of the cartons sent out by the DC were recycled cartons (cartons containing stock received from a supplier).

Electricity Saving Initiative

The SWATT (Saving Watts) campaign was launched in September, 2012. The Ackermans SWATT team’s hard work, together with our staff in stores and UGU Engineering at Stellenbosch, was rewarded when they won the 2014 Eskom ETA Award. At the African Utility Week Gala Awards Evening 2015, they won the Energy and Water Efficiency Project of the Year Award. Through the SWATT initiative, electricity consumption was reduced by 14 million kWh per year.

 

Ububele for employees

 

Siyamazi Song Competition

Audio clips of the Siyamazi Song Competition Finalists below.

North Stores
Meadowdale Mall - 0748 Soshanguve - 1117 Nhlangano - 1422 Mangkweng Paledi Mall - 1238

 

South Stores
Mooi River Plaza - 1484 Richmond Shopping Centre - 1399 Mthatha York Street - 1271

 


Clinic Services to our Employees

204 Phadimas at Support Centre and 313 at the Kuils River Distribution Centre used the monthly clinic service, which includes family planning, cholesterol testing, blood pressure and blood/sugar levels testing.

Bursaries for Employees

The number of qualifications in Supply Chain has increased significantly during the last year due to a renewed focus on developing internal skills within the distribution centres for future supervisory/supply chain positions. 53 bursaries were provided. This programme is funded by the Pepkor Empowerment Trust.

Bursaries for Employees’ Children

This year, 17 Phadimas made use of the assistance programme, which is funded by the Pepkor Empowerment Trust.

Employee Personal Protection Programme

The Ackermans Employee Personal Protection Programme is funded by the Pepkor Empowerment Trust and enables Ackermans to provide all Phadimas and their immediate family members to participate in a Trauma Assist programme. The wellness programme also provides support and counselling to staff members in the event of armed robbery, assault or burglary in stores.

Sports Funding

This initiative was launched in March 2015. The funding is for full-time, permanent employees of Ackermans and their immediate family and aims to encourage their participation in sporting events at provincial, national and international levels.