Tata Africa Holdings is involved in initiatives that promote the social and economic development of African communities
The Tata group values of integrity, understanding, excellence, unity and responsibility, integrated with the tradition of giving back to society, has been the foundation of its community initiatives. The Tata group is involved in a range of community initiatives in Africa to stay true to its values and business ethos and contribute to the social and economic development of the continent. Tata Africa Holdings therefore, initiates projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities in which it operates. The community initiatives focus on three areas — education and skills development, entrepreneurship and health.
The Tata group is involved in various educational initiatives that empower beneficiaries, enable sustainable livelihoods and provide them the possibility of becoming leaders across industries and in the government. Tata Africa Holdings has partnered with a number of universities in South Africa to support postgraduate students who require financial need and show academic competence, with the Tata Postgraduate Scholarship. These scholarships have allowed recipients to excel academically and become front runners in their respective fields. Till now, Tata Africa has disbursed in excess of R10 million towards this initiative. The bursaries are not faculty-specific, which means a wide range of candidates can be supported across several academic fields. The scholarships do not bind the recipients contractually to the Tata group, which allows the candidates to pursue their chosen specialisations.
In 2013, two African universities will be included in the scholarship programme to reflect the Tata group's growing footprint in Africa.
In addition, Tata Africa has partnered the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa to support the research endeavours of African women in science and technology related fields. Through the Women in Science programme, Tata Africa contributes to the national objectives of increasing the pool of women scientists in much-needed areas of research.
The Tata group supports the government’s national objective of job creation. Tata Africa Holdings and Tata companies have included skills development in their CS initiatives to increase the capacity of the local workforce. Tata Africa Holdings has recognised the African Leadership Academy (ALA), best known for building leadership capacity in Africa, as a partner in skills development. In order to invest in the national objective, Tata group and ALA give African students an opportunity to gain exposure in the corporate environment by inviting them to intern at Tata companies in Africa.
Tata Africa also partners the South African government in its joint initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition Programme, by hosting graduates who get placed in the international placement programme. These graduates intern at various Tata companies in India to accelerate their technical and managerial skills for telecommunications, infrastructure, water and energy, and transport sectors. Tata Africa continues to partner with the government at local, provincial and national levels on a project-by-project basis with the shared objective of creating opportunities for skills transfer and skills development.
In addition to the flagship programmes, Tata companies in Africa embrace the opportunity to make a direct impact on the communities within which they operate, addressing immediate social needs such as health care.
In January 2012, Tata Africa Services in Nigeria partnered with the government of Lagos to donate a mobile health clinic to improve the state of healthcare.
Employees from various Tata companies in Africa volunteer for Operation Smile missions throughout the year. These missions provide free of cost reconstructive surgeries for cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities in children around the world. Tata employees offer their time to help the doctors and nurses of Operation Smile.
Tata Africa Holdings is also involved in fundraising activities for the Cancer Association of South Africa, and fundraising and volunteering for the Stop Hunger Now campaign.
The Tata group believes in fostering entrepreneurship, together with education, to address social and economic challenges in a sustainable manner. Tata Africa Holdings collaborates with the South African government in leveraging their platforms to foster entrepreneurial spirit and leadership development through the Tata Top Ten competition. A Tata Top Ten winner is a young, business savvy individual who has knowledge of Tata companies and the social issues in the country. Tata Ten winners receive funds for their business and all candidates receive an educational prize.
Tata Africa Holdings also sponsors the All Africa Business Leader Awards, honouring African business leaders who make a difference through innovation and inspiration. The event is attended by ministers and high-profile entrepreneurs from across the continent. The aim of the awards is to create a culture of entrepreneurship and develop best practises and business models on the continent and global economy.
Company specific CSR initiatives
- The Neotel Academy is at the forefront of telecommunications skill development, training technicians every year from its nationally-accredited courses. After completing the course, all graduates are offered employment opportunities at Neotel or its partner companies.
- Land Rover in South Africa sponsors and focuses mainly on four tiers — humanitarian, sport, conservation, and investing in its ambassadors such as Kingsley Holgate and Bryan Habana. Land Rover has been helping Rally to Read distribute stationery and reading material to rural areas since its inception in 1998. Other humanitarian involvements include associations with Red Cross and the Road Safety Foundation. In terms of conservation, Land Rover has been working with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to protect wild dogs since 2000 and it continues to support the Born Free Foundation through sponsorship of vehicles. For the past 15 years, Land Rover South Africa has been the official vehicle sponsor of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and will be the worldwide sponsor of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) South Africa is helping improve local capacity in the services sector through the Initial Learning Programme. The programme enables local recruitment, skills development and local capacity building for previously disadvantaged youth, who then join TCS as interns.
- Tata Automobile Corporation (TACSA) South Africa provides hands-on skill development in its area of operations. The TACSA training centre caters to the training requirements of its own dealerships, besides major fleets and academic institutions that require practical elements added to the theoretical curriculum.
- Tata Steel KZN has launched several programmes, of which skills development and women empowerment related activities take high priority. The company has identified several schools that need funding and have worked with these schools to serve them in their needs. Tata Steel KZN also puts a great deal of effort into hiring and training local citizens to work at the plant.
- Tata Chemicals Magadi (TCM) has built a tight-knit relationship with the community in which it operates by providing support in the most critical areas, namely healthcare and education. TCM has dedicated resources to upgrade equipment and facilities at the Magadi Hospital, provide financial and material support to the HIV / AIDS clinic in Nkurumani as well as subsidised medical aid. To support education, TCM has built schools, provided skills training, micro-business support and financial support for students. Beyond the commitment to health and education, TCM has extended its CSR arm to develop eco-tourism, maintain roads and railways, passenger transport and security support.