THE IMPACT CATALYST IS BORN
Through the ages, collaboration has been viewed as the key to large-scale growth, and the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts, said one great philosopher Aristotle.
It is to this end that The Impact Catalyst was launched in Limpopo Province on Tuesday, 29 October 2019.
The initiative sees four well established organisations, Anglo American, Exxaro, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and World Vision South Africa, collaborate to create mechanisms that will drive large-scale socio-economic development.
The first Regional Socio-Economic Development Platform begins in partnership with the Office of the Premier in Limpopo province and the focus will be on improving the health, well-being and living conditions in communities across Limpopo.
Initiatives will be designed to leverage collaboration across a variety of sectors, and will be selected for impact beyond the scale of individual participants.
Other areas of impact include economic development, education, social empowerment, service delivery and the environment.
Acting Provincial Spokesperson, Mamogo Ntuli welcomed the initiative, saying that the government alone cannot address the challenges we are currently facing as a country.
“It is crucial that we have collaborative initiatives like The Impact Catalyst where we can lean on industry experts to initiate results-driven activities. This effort is essential in that it strengthens the social cohesion between government and the populace, thus promoting active and participative citizenry.”
“It also ensures collective, integrated and shared investment in projects that are of mutual benefit to the government and business,” she said.
Limpopo was regarded as the ideal starting point for The Impact Catalyst, according to Charl Harding, CSIR Strategic Partnership Manager, because the region is extremely vulnerable due to its high dependence on the mining sector.
According to Harding, this necessitated alternative thinking for job creation and sustainable development.
The launch partners are working towards facilitating the implementation of the geo-spatial development system in Limpopo.
The CSIR is a leading scientific and technology research organisation that researches, develops, localises and diff uses technologies to accelerate socio-economic prosperity in South Africa.
This initiative is in line with the CSIR’s mandate – to undertake directed, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that contributes to the improved quality of life of South Africans.
Based on the CSIR’s experience in the incubation of initiatives of a similar nature and scope, the CSIR is able to contribute to the establishment and incubation of The Impact Catalyst.
Exxaro meanwhile committed their vast expertise in stakeholder engagement.
“As part of our commitment to improving lives in Africa and beyond, we continue to work towards improving the quality of our relationships with stakeholders and building long-term, stable and trusting relationships that will create shared value for society,” said Exxaro’s Chief Executive Officer, Mxolisi Mgojo.
The MECHANISM for collective impact
Exxaro utilises the strength of their business to collaboratively foster empowered communities who can access, and participate in, more socio-economic possibilities.
“Through The Impact Catalyst we will continue to invest in initiatives that deliver sustainable societies through proactive engagement, deep understanding of societal needs, and regulations and application of best practices,” Mgojo added.
He explained further that by adopting an integrated approach, it is possible to create sustainable jobs and promote local societal and economic development to create shared value for our communities.
“We strongly believe that greater societal impact is created when an ecosystem based on mutual goals is created to drive towards a particular outcome,” he concluded.
Exxaro prides itself in being more than just a mining business and strongly believes that making a positive impact on the world and empowering the local communities in which it operates as central to its purpose.
Executive Head at Anglo American South Africa Andile Sangqu explained that the mandate of The Impact Catalyst sits perfectly with their organisation’s own vision:
“The Impact Catalyst is rooted in our belief that we can make significant inroads into the social, environmental, and economic development challenges in SA. It gives us a chance to be directly involved in charting a new path for the future of mining host communities and regions.
We do not have all the solutions, but we are ready to get involved. This is why we’re working in partnership to make this a reality.”
Non-profit Faith-based organisation, World Vision South Africa meanwhile is dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
According to Chikondi Phiri, Interim CEO for the organisation, this common development initiative focused on social-economic development is an excellent transformational vehicle to mobilize local partnerships and dramatically increase the positive impacts on South African children.
“It is World Vision South Africa’s mission, together with its international partners, to organise significant cant collaboration between like-minded organisations to scale proven actions towards measurable impact in the lives of vulnerable children and communities of South Africa,” he said.
The Impact Catalyst invites corporate South Africa and the public sector to engage in large-scale programmes that move the needle on key local sustainable development challenges in South Africa.