As a leading investment and savings champion, Old Mutual Foundation plays a pre-eminent role in corporate social investment (CSI), which is integral to the company's focus on economic and social transformation.
The Old Mutual Foundation allocates about R35 million to building partnerships that create a positive impact on the lives of South Africans who face daily hardship. It aims to help drive the development that is crucial to addressing South Africa's social imbalances.
Andile Ncontsa, head of Old Mutual Foundation, says: "We have honed in on skills development, local economic and enterprise development and education to address this issue and to build economically sustainable communities. We back this up by a strong ethos of volunteerism."
The Old Mutual Foundation's support of the Organic Farms Group presents an elegant, scalable model of how business can help stimulate enterprises that provide livelihoods and dignity, especially for rural women. It's a good example of Old Mutual's approach, but by no means the only one.
In Cape Town alone, more than 1000 residents of poverty-stricken Delft can now earn a living selling fresh produce to supermarkets across the city. Far more than merely teaching people to grow veggies, the project enables those with aspirations to move beyond tilling and into entrepreneurship, from substance to commercial enterprise.
Similar success has been enjoyed in four provinces and the expansion continues.
The model provides some crucial points on turning agriculture into a viable, commercial enterprise for millions of Africans mired in a hard-scrabble existence.