The long-term sustainability of a business is inextricably linked to the socioeconomic health of the society in which it operates. In a country such as SA, with its public-resource constraints and urgent need for growth, companies should leverage their corporate social investment (CSI) spending optimally to enable meaningful, lasting and transformative development. This requirement is in the global context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to make sustainable business the operational norm. This set of 17 aspirational goals, outlined by the UN, came into effect in 2016. They aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. During the formulation of the SDGs, it was acknowledged that all stakeholders — governments, civil society and the private sector — must contribute and cooperate to realise this new agenda. Companies are in a unique position to fund and lead systematic change from grass roots to national levels. Most leading South African c...

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