Sustainable Development Report 2010 Sustainable Development Report 2010

Creating better lives through the positive power of business

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is a non-profit organisation that strives to educate people on concepts such as market economics, entrepreneurship and business ethics through educational outreach projects. SIFE South Africa has been one of Harmony's beneficiaries for the past five financial years and we are proud to be affiliated to a cause whose ultimate goal is the achievement of a more sustainable world through the positive power of business.

The year under review was a productive one for SIFE South Africa with:

  • eight presenters from the 2009 SIFE South Africa National Champion Team attending the SIFE World Cup in Berlin in October;
  • the 2010 Harmony LED SIFE Challenge being launched in November 2009;
  • road shows being conducted across the country in February and March 2010; and
  • on-campus training in preparation of the SIFE National Competition sponsored by Harmony being undertaken in June and July 2010.

The SIFE World Cup in Berlin, which was sponsored by leading international companies, was attended by over 2 000 people in 2009, including 300 business executives from more than 50 countries. Harmony was not only an event sponsor, but also sponsored the attendance of the SIFE University of KwaZulu-Natal team at the event, and was immensely pleased with the team for reaching the semi-final round of this global competition.

The 2010 Harmony LED SIFE Challenge, which was launched in November 2009, was set up four years ago to stimulate local economic growth and to create more jobs. SIFE South Africa teams were encouraged to assist their local municipalities and communities to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and to fast-track local economic development in priority areas. “Harmony believes that the SIFE teams have the capacity to make a marked difference to the communities in which the company operates,“ says Executive: Corporate Affairs at Harmony, Jackie Mathebula, “and it is with warm appreciation that we encourage their involvement in these areas.”

SIFE conducted campus visits and training workshops at every participating tertiary institution during the year under review, assisting and mentoring teams and their leadership to ensure that the best possible outcomes are gained from their endeavours.

Post year-end, the SIFE National Competition, co-sponsored by Harmony, took place in August 2010. The SIFE University of Pretoria (UP) team returned home victorious from this year's competition, where they competed against students from 24 other universities across the country which had developed and implemented entrepreneurial and socio-economic projects within their respective communities. The winning project involved a fruit and vegetable campaign through which SIFE UP was able to turn perishable fruit that would otherwise have been wasted into a viable business, thereby ensuring a sustainable income to participating schools. The team, in collaboration with Neltropica and the Tshwane Market, dehydrated, repackaged and resold these almost wasted items, making a profit along the way.

CEO of SIFE South Africa, Letitia de Wet, states that “the backbone of SIFE lies in ensuring a sustainable future for the project participants, the beneficiaries, our SIFE students and the nation as a whole. It is evident that through addressing current and relevant needs, our SIFE teams across the nation are taking the initiative to ensure that the country's business and socio-economic future is enriched with viable and informed members of the South African community at large – creating sustainable economic development locally”.

Looking ahead and as a measure of thanks to the loyal support provided by Harmony, SIFE South Africa will be encouraging SIFE teams to implement projects at Harmony's mining and labour sending communities throughout 2011. Targeted areas include municipalities in Harmony's labour-sending areas, that is, Gauteng, the North West Province, the Free State, Mpumalanga, and the Eastern Cape, in addition to Lesotho and Mozambique. Furthermore, SIFE South Africa will be offering Harmony the opportunity to recruit SIFE students from 27 institutions of higher education across the country. Final year SIFE graduates will be invited to present their curricula vitae to Harmony, allowing the company the opportunity to employ high-calibre students with a sound sense of both business and socio-economic development practices.