10 Socially Responsible Businesses in South Africa

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

Socially responsible initiatives can be carried out in several ways based on an enterprise’s goal for its stakeholders and communities. By and large, the aim is to promote actions or policies that embrace development across communities or nationalities. 


Socially responsible businesses
Socially responsible businesses


  • Socially responsible businesses are known to attract more customers and stakeholders.
  • Adopting socially responsible practices that influence consumers, communities, and stakeholders is one effective approach for businesses to make their mark.

Top ten most socially responsible South African businesses

In this article, we will consider top South African businesses that stand out for their socially responsible initiatives. 

1. BMW 

BMW Group South Africa is dedicated to ensuring a brighter future for communities, children, and the nation. Hence, the company emphasizes social investment as part of its commitment to sustainable development.

BMW SA has assisted 144 schools. Ntsha-Peu Primary School, a beneficiary recently received an R4 million investment as well as world-class renovations. Also, as part of the program, the school has a new computer lab that can accommodate 80 students at a time and always-on internet access.

Over the last 40 years, nearly 2000 people have graduated from the BMW Training Academy and found employment at BMW Plant Rosslyn. 

2. Accenture

Accenture is dedicated to empowering individuals and improving lives through social impact programs. Since its inception in 2003, the company has completed over 1,800 projects in 95 countries.

Also, Accenture’s Skills to Succeed project allows people to participate in a more economically inclusive society. This is achieved through skill development, entrepreneurship, and job opportunities. For over a decade, the company continues to expand its Skills to Succeed program in South Africa. 

3. MCM

MCM’s goal is to foster social cohesiveness and social capital in host communities by providing mutually beneficial opportunities. In July 2015, MCM established the Community Centered Sustainable Value Model (SVM) to create and enhance sustainable value for all stakeholders.

In addition, MCM’s social and labor plans (SLPs) are a fundamental engine of socioeconomic reform. The primary areas of emphasis include education and skill development; enterprise development; and infrastructure development.

4. Multichoice

Multichoice’s approach to social responsibility is centered on its interactions with employees, communities, and customers. This also includes the security and privacy of their data.

Also, the company’s various programs seek to actively address and manage social and economic development, provide job opportunities, contribute to the community, and enable small businesses to expand.

The MultiChoice Innovation Fund helps entrepreneurs to become industry leaders. Basically, the goal is to support individuals in unlocking opportunities and creating new jobs through funding and ongoing business support.

5. Novartis

Novartis seeks to promote global health development. By and large, the company contributes to society by discovering and producing novel medications.

Likewise, Novartis works with other businesses to address some of the world’s most pressing health issues. The company’s corporate responsibility efforts are focused on two areas that support its mission of caring and curing: extending access to healthcare and conducting business responsibly.

Every year, on Menstrual Health Day, Novartis collaborates with the Clicks Helping Hand Trust to provide reusable sanitary towels to over 1000 school-aged impoverished children in Midrand.

6. BDO South Africa 

BDO’s socially responsible activities are overseen by its Evolution Committee, which is made up of staff from each office.

Through Evolution, each of BDO’s offices supports a variety of local organizations. This includes collecting food for animal shelters, Christmas presents for underprivileged children, making sandwiches for street children, and hosting tea parties for the elderly, among others. Also, during the 2020/21 fiscal year, BDO assisted 63 pro bono clients.

7. Shell South Africa

Shell works to provide communities with safe, dependable, and affordable electricity. Essentially, the goal is to boost economic development and improve healthcare, education, and livelihoods.

Also, the Shell LiveWIRE initiative assists young entrepreneurs in launching their businesses and stimulating local economic growth in a variety of nations.

The energy corporation has invested millions of dollars in a variety of energy access programs around the world. Some of its socially responsible initiatives include community lighting, power generation, and small-scale grid infrastructure projects.

8. Bayer South Africa 

Bayer South Africa provides various supports that range from assisting smallholder farmers and developing public health programs to investing in scientific research and education.

The company is a founding partner of the Buhle Farmer’s Academy. Presently, Bayer’s assistance now extends to assisting Buhle in becoming financially independent. To this end, the company is empowering the Buhle management board with leadership and business development skills.

Furthermore, Bayer supports the program with grants to aid farmers enrolled at Buhle.

9. Shoprite Holdings

Shoprite Holdings impact communities through its charity foundation, the #ActForChange Fund, and many other social investment programs.

The enterprise seeks to increase spending on SMME suppliers, particularly black- and black-women-owned firms. Other community investments are hunger assistance and food security programs, youth empowerment, and the development of enterprise suppliers.

10. Scania

Scania’s waste elimination projects guide the company in its efforts to constantly enhance all business operations in areas such as CO2 emissions, energy, waste, and water.

Also, Scania adopts enhanced recycling as a natural and integrated element of its business. This also includes increased energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, water consumption reduction, and overall waste reduction.

By and large, Scania’s environmental management system is based on ISO 14001 and is governed by an international environmental policy. As a result, all product development and manufacturing facilities are ISO 14001 certified.


To sum up, socially responsible businesses are known to attract more customers and stakeholders. This also leads to increased revenue and consumer loyalty. Hence, adopting socially responsible practices that influence consumers, communities, and stakeholders is one effective approach for businesses to make their mark.

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