Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has been recognised as a Level 1 Silver Community Contributor for its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) efforts by the National CSI Registrar (NCSIR), on behalf of the National Department of Social Development.
MBSA’s philosophy on CSI is an abiding belief that change can only come about when communities are empowered without being made the recipients of simple charity. To this end, MBSA focuses on projects that require sustainable commitment both to and by the communities themselves.
This CSI philosophy has been recognised by the National Department of Social Development through the NCSIR, which grades participating corporates according to their financial contributions and time spent in working hours contributing to causes of worth and social development. Overall financial contributions are graded based on their CSI budget – the amount of money invested in CSI versus their total annual turnover and profit before income tax.
The award also takes into account the company’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating, particularly in the CSI category, based on the criteria whether at least 1% of the net profit after tax is allocated to qualifying projects. MBSA achieved a Level 1 BBBEE rating as a contributor to Code 700 (Socio-Economic Development) of the BBBEE Scorecard, and MBSA maintained its overall BBBEE Level 4 rating for the second year in a row – the highest in the automotive industry.
The Community Contributor Award has as its highest grading a Level 1 Gold, with each category comprising three levels – 1 being the highest and 3 being the lowest among the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. MBSA’s Level 1 status is the only one in the Silver category.
“Silver contributors are a major essential of our nation,” says the NCSIR in a statement. “With a Silver Level 1 rating, MBSA is setting a standard that will be most advantageous for development and is, in effect, over-performing.”
“We are extremely proud of this award, as it showcases our commitment to both our company and our country,” says MBSA president and CEO Martin Zimmermann. “At MBSA, we invest heavily in communities and make our contribution far beyond our own immediate interests.
“For us, corporate social giving is not merely a legislative responsibility, but a moral obligation. Our long tradition of doing good supersedes any legislative imperative. “
We will therefore continue to drive social improvement. We are doing this with a focus on programmes in HIV and AIDS, Education and projects to reduce crime.”
The National CSI Registrar was established to compile an up to date database of statistics and research information regarding all organisational aspects and activities pertaining to CSI and further advance national social development policies in South Africa.
Businesses will see their Contributor Status achievements registered with the National Department of Social Development and publicised in the Community Contributor Status Journal, which is due to come out in February/March 2012, as well as in the Annual Government Report, which gives government essential statistical and research data.
MBSA’s 2011 performance will be assessed during the first quarter of 2012.