Sharing value – Uplifting lives in South Africa
Growing a brighter future
"When I left Tugela Mill in the late 80s I saw a gap in the forestry sector, as I would often see growers collecting good money at the mill after harvesting. It was a good shift for me as joining Khulisa changed my life completely. I am now a proud owner of two beautiful homes.
"I am encouraging my children to learn more about the forestry field and they are showing interest, because they see the benefits. It is great to see more investors and retail owners coming to Manguzi town. This is happening because they know that growers like myself are spending a lot of money earned from trees in our own town and growing our economy. Sappi has consistently provided us with highly qualified forestry professionals who look after us and share information with us on how we can best improve our forestry businesses."
Samson Mthethwa, who was employed as a general worker at Tugela Mill for 10 years before he became involved in Sappi's enterprise development scheme for small growers, Sappi Khulisa (previously Project Crow), which began in 1983.
Encouraging holiday fun
The Abashintshi hold holiday programmes in several KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga communities with activities including sports days, talent shows, dancing competitions, reading sessions, organised games and many other creative activities.
Sappi donates pencils, crayons, bags, t-shirts, balls and all sorts of Sappi-branded apparel to encourage children to participate.
Using existing assets to generate income
The ABCD (asset-based community development) approach encourages people to make use of their existing assets. This approach teaches individuals and communities to use what they already have, and to grow those assets to the benefit of the community at large, rather than focusing on what they don't have and letting it stifle their progress in life. It also shows people that although they may be 'poor' in material assets, they have skills that they can put to good use to help others.
Zandile Mguni from the Mnqobokazi community in Hluhluwe exemplifies this approach. The mother of three saw a business opportunity in making mats that are traditionally known as Izincansi, a skill she learned from her mother that she has been using to make a living for her family. Zandile has applied the ABCD concept by fetching weaving grass from a nearby river and recycling used materials and old planks to make the machine she uses to weave her mats. The Abashintshi have helped her expand her business by using her profits to buy stock such as chips, airtime and prepaid electricity so that she can run a small tuckshop business that gives her extra cash.