Report on CSR around the Globe: The state of CSR in South Africa

csr by asensi

csr by asensi

I recently saw a post on CSR International that highlighted the South Africa findings from a recent global CSR report.

The University of South Africa’s Centre for Corporate Citizenship and the Bureau of Market Research conducted research on ethical opinions of consumers in South Africa.  They contributed to the South Africa section in the report titled, Corporate Citizenship Around the World: How local flavors season global practice. This report was co-produced by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Global Education Research Network.

Key findings as related to CSR in South Africa (as recorded in the report).

  • More than half of South Africa’s metropolitan consumers consider a company’s corporate reputation when they make a purchasing decision.
  • 47% of respondents preferred products or services from good corporate citizens – even when they are more expensive.
  • 55% of respondents indicate they have bought a product or a service from a company because of its link to charitable causes.
  • 69% believe irresponsible companies should be exposed in the media, while 63% say they should be punished.
  • Three quarters indicated that government should play a more proactive role in encouraging greater corporate citizenship.
  • Over 75% of respondents expected companies to improve the social and environmental impacts of their products and services and 66% expected companies to implement socially responsible practice in their supply chain.
  • 40% of respondents said that social responsibility will enhance employees’ respect for the company, while about 60% believed that socially responsible public commitments increase employees’ respect for their place of work.


National Consumers League & Fleishman-Hillard International Communications

Overall this report is fascinating, providing a snapshot of CSR practices in countries (and cultures) around the world including:

  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • China
  • The Philippines
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • United States

Obviously, for the purposes of this blog, the section on South Africa is particularly interesting.  It’s clear that South African consumers are savvy and socially concerned.  CSR is not just a concern for Western nations and how companies behave in other countries, but is a prominent and real concern of the citizens of those other countries.

World Cup sponsors are you listening?

Here’s some proof that it’s not enough to conduct business as usual and expect that your name on some sideline advertisement is going to buy you good will with the local consumer.  South African consumers care about how their brands behave; they care about the companies they want to affiliate with and how they collaborate with the world around them.

Now how will the World Cup sponsors react?  There’s still plenty of time; brand and business-aligned CSR initiatives are still possible to enact! Who will step up and take advantage and win some of the market and mind share of these socially conscious South African consumers?  This is a challenge that I hope all companies, not just World Cup sponsors, will take on.

For full post click here:

To download the full report click here:


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