The pandemic came unexpectedly and suddenly. Many businesses adjusted their operations to bring essential services to their clients in a safe and responsible manner, while stepping up CSI efforts to help fight the devastating aftermath of the virus.
‘Being prepared but adaptable was key to ensuring that Capitec Bank better served our clients during these pressing times. In addition, we did not forget the most vulnerable members of our society; we announced several CSI initiatives to support and fund efforts to help prevent the spread of the virus, while our disaster relief efforts focused on supporting NGOs and government initiatives to meet the basic needs of disadvantaged communities,’ says Neptal Khosa, the Head of Capitec’s CSI Department.
‘Capitec has a multipronged approach to CSI, including disaster relief, Capitec’s education programme, donations, and the employee volunteer programme.’
‘In case of disasters, Capitec has set aside a relief fund aimed at providing support to victims. This year, the relief fund was implemented to help fight the effects of Covid-19.’
‘We developed a two-fold approach: funding efforts to fight the spread of the virus and offering humanitarian support to communities that are in desperate need of basic necessities.’
Capitec provided immediate support for screening, testing and preventing the spread of Covid-19. ‘We donated R15 million towards the Solidarity Fund and R5 million towards Gift of the Givers.’
‘We also set aside R6.6 million towards humanitarian relief initiatives to support communities and NGOs.’
These initiatives included:
- R3.6 million for food parcel initiatives, with a target to support over 6120 families, impacting 32 500 people.
- R1 million for matching clients and employees’ fundraising efforts. ‘With this initiative, we encouraged clients and employees to raise funds or donate to Gift of the Givers, the Solidarity Fund and Food Forward. More than R840 000 was raised towards this initiative between April and June. Capitec will match this amount.’
- Capitec also launched the R1 million for a facemask campaign. ‘We aimed to distribute more than 40 000 facemasks through this campaign.’
- R1 million went to ad hoc requests for personal protective equipment (PPE) and Covid-19-related requests, aimed at supporting local hospitals, schools and shelters with PPE.
With the major disruption in education over the last few months, private sector educational support has become more important than ever. ‘The Capitec Foundation aims to improve maths in a sustainable manner, so that South Africa’s youth will have access to career choices after they matriculate. We do this by focusing on maths tutoring, math teacher development and school management development.’ During the pandemic, hundreds of learners continued to benefit from the Capitec Foundation’s own online maths tutoring programme and by a Capitec-sponsored maths programme run by Nelson Mandela University and Ikamva Youth.
One of the heartbreaking effects of the Covid-19 pandemic was the increase in gender-based violence. ‘Every year, Capitec offers once-off donations to organisations that shelter abused women and abandoned children. This year, 50 NGOs across the country will be shortlisted and will be receiving the much-needed financial support.’
Employee Volunteer Programme
‘Through the employee volunteer programme, we encouraged employees, in groups or as individuals, to use their time, resources and skills to give back to their communities. Each employee is allocated three days per annum to make a difference, and Capitec has committed to contribute R2 for every R1 raised by employees. As at the end of June, employees had raised over R400 000.
‘In total, we have spent R32 million on CSI initiatives this year.’
Technology to keep people safer
Capitec’s banking app makes it possible for clients to bank from the safety of their homes 24/7, while incurring no data costs as their app is zero rated for data. Since January 2020 they have welcomed over 600 000 new digital banking clients. They now have over 7.5 million digital banking clients, making them the largest digital bank in South Africa.
‘In July, we hosted a hackathon to create a platform for the development of technology and solutions to help South Africans live better in a post-Covid reality.’
‘We have also launched paperless banking, allowing clients to sign documents using our biometric fingerprint scanners, which can be easily sanitised after each clients use, as opposed to paper, which is more difficult to sanitise.’
‘It is now more important than ever to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of our clients, to ensure a sustainable post-Covid-19 world.’