Posted by: Colleen Jacka | February 10, 2013

CSI Maritime

CSI, which incidentally has nothing to do with investigating crime scenes, has become an integral part of doing business and many maritime companies have well-entrenched strategies for identifying as well as supporting social upliftment. From education to supporting orphans or places of refuge and even environmental projects – there are no shortages of Corporate Social Investment initiatives requiring funding.

Massive corporates usually get the applause for their CSI strategies, but both big and small businesses are identifying worthwhile causes and investing money, time and skills in helping others.

Recently, however, the topic has become fodder for anecdotal dinner conversation as outraged people comment on intended legislation aimed at weighting incentives for companies participating in welfare-related projects. The general consensus seems to be that companies will be forced to abandon many of the causes they currently support as they chase incentives provided by supporting projects with 100 percent Black beneficiaries because anything else “just wont count”.

For me it’s a bit of a bizarre argument. To say that putting your hand out to help “just wont count” is wholly ridiculous. That the entire motivation for helping a cause should be attached to financial or tax incentives somewhat taints the intention. And let’s be fair – the weighting of incentives does not remove all tax breaks; but rather puts emphasis on projects that the government feels will perhaps impact positively on addressing their prioritised goals such as unemployment.

I acknowledge that, based on our own priorities to address different injustices, it may seem unfair to some to weight these tax incentives, but if you want to support a cause and really feel passionate about it – get on and support it because it will definitely “count” to those who benefit.

We, together with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), aim to recognise companies within the maritime fold at this year’s Maritime Industry Awards who give credence to the ethos of Corporate Social Investment. The award category aims to recognise a company’s commitment reaching outside of their corporate structures to lend a hand. Special emphasis will be placed on the company’s ability to involve their own staff members and instill a sense of charity that goes beyond handing over big cheques and issuing press releases.

The SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards, to be held in Cape Town on the 20 April 2013, are open to companies or organisations with a majority South African shareholding or with proven investment in the South African industry that includes an operating office; employment of South African citizens as well as investment in training and infrastructure. Individuals can also be nominated in any of the nine categories.

For more information about the SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards or to nominate a company or individual, please follow the link below:

http://www.maritimesa.co.za/MaritimeAwards/tabid/133/Default.aspx

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