Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - South African high earners gave away a combined R7 billion in cash, goods and services to charities last year, according to Nedbank’s The Giving Report released yesterday.

The report analysed giving behaviours, patterns and trends of high-net-worth (HNV) South Africans.

Nedbank surveyed 400 HNV individuals, individuals who earned at least R1.5 million a year or own investable assets of more than R5 million, excluding primary residence.

About 63 percent of the respondents’ total net worth was in the range of R5m to R10m, while 19 percent of them were worth R10m to R20m and 7 percent were worth R20m to R50m.

Demographics

About 9 percent were worth less than R5m and only 1 percent of respondents’ were worth in excess of R50m and R100m, respectively.

The demographics of those surveyed painted a similar picture of the economic make-up of the country. About 64 percent were male, with 36 percent being female. About 77 percent of the givers were white people, with black people making up 12 percent, Indians comprised 9 percent and coloured people 2 percent.

Noxolo Hlongwane, the head of philanthropy at Nedbank Private Wealth, said the results of the report pointed to wealthy South Africans continuing to give their money and time to worthy causes. “We continue to see steady growth in the amount of time and personal effort invested by affluent individuals into the causes they support.”

She said non-cash donations rose to 78 percent from 67 percent in 2012. While affluent South Africans tended to give later in life, the report found 60 percent of respondents were between 40 to 60 years old.

The Giving Report comes a few months after The Giving Institute released its Giving USA annual report. That report found the richest Americans donated a combined $373bn (R5.3 trillion) with $265bn of these coming from individuals, foundations gave $58bn, bequests gave $32bn and corporations gave $18bn to charities last year.

Vince Boulle, an executive Nedbank Private Wealth, said the establishment of the Chair in African Philanthropy by Wits Business School would assist to strengthen the sector.

“This growth in philanthropy... is certainly an area that we, as a pan-African bank, find of special interest and we look forward to contributing to the narrative as the story unfolds,” Boulle said.

Professor Alan Fowler, Visiting Professor in The Chair in African Philanthropy at Wits Business School, said yesterday that for philanthropy to thrive on the continent was to resist the temptation to measure giving, according to Western standards. “The struggle is that African Philanthropy has to be defined according to its own story... part of that story is that giving must have moral value in that it has to be of some value to someone else.”

BUSINESS REPORT