Several Capitec branches have also been turned into pet food collection points, with donated dog food being amassed to hand out to struggling shelters. File Photo: Reuters
Several Capitec branches have also been turned into pet food collection points, with donated dog food being amassed to hand out to struggling shelters. File Photo: Reuters

Capitec ramps up humanitarian relief as virtual volunteering gains momentum

By BR Correspondent Time of article published Jul 13, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – Capitec, South Africa’s leading bank with more than 6.5 million digital clients, has always had corporate social investment as part of its DNA.

During Covid-19, it has ramped up and refocused these efforts to include a R15 million donation to the Solidarity Fund, the rollout of a R6.6 million humanitarian relief plan, and a focus on virtual volunteering for staff, which the bank is matching for maximal impact.

Capitec’s head of corporate social investment Neptal Khozasaid on Monday that the bank was proud to play a pivotal role in the community. “Our mission has always been to empower people to manage their financial lives better. We want to give dignity to people through a focus on financial inclusion. During Covid-19, we’ve adapted our efforts and are even more committed to creating shared value through innovative ways of giving back. Virtual volunteering is a major focus right now.”

The bank is also driving a food relief project, which sees it partner with NGOs on a national scale to support more than 7 000 families with food parcels. Additionally, it is supporting Gift of the Givers and Food Forward.

Whatever staff donate to these NGOs and the Solidarity Fund, Capitec has pledged to match. The bank is also driving a face mask campaign that will see 40 000 face masks – made by local small businesses – distributed, along with personal protective equipment for hospitals.

Khoza is particularly excited about the virtual volunteering drive: “We know that our people want to make a difference and give back. Our Capitec Volunteers platform taps into the ‘For Good’ network to match our team members up with causes they care about. They can sign up to assist a listed NGO with a specific task – like virtual maths tutoring, which is especially important given that many children cannot go to school right now.”

He said in the current climate, people were pulling together and looking for ways to lift one another up. “Helping others makes each of us feel better. Having an impact is a powerful feeling. It makes us want to do more. Virtual volunteering is a way for our team to gift their time and expertise safely, in accordance with lockdown legislation. It’s been exciting to see how people have embraced these opportunities,” said Khoza.

Capitec is matching all donations its team makes – up to R10 000 per employee. There have been heartwarming stories of humanity and kindness resulting from the initiative – from employee Grant Hardy running laps in his driveway to raise funds for Kayamandi Trauma Centre, to Asanda Lisa who founded Queue for Life to hand out food parcels to elderly clients waiting to withdraw their social grants.

Several Capitec branches have also been turned into pet food collection points, with donated dog food being amassed to hand out to struggling shelters.

Khoza said: “Prioritising giving back helps us to connect with communities and the difficult realities countless people are facing across the country right now. COVID-19 has brought stark inequalities to the fore. Just think of education and the fact that young people without online access have no form of learning right now. We encourage more people to take advantage of virtual volunteering and seek ways to reach out.

“Giving back allows each of us to be the best we can be. There’s huge opportunity for sustained collaboration between corporates to make a serious impact. We urge our peers to join us. Together, we can achieve remarkable results.”

BUSINESS REPORT

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