African Giving Knowledge Base
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Since 2004 South Africa has had in place legislation that regulates the responsibilities of business to the transformation of society, and this regulation includes an element that relates to corporate philanthropy.To date, however, very little has been documented about the influence of this legislation on corporate philanthropy. A new research report by Halima Mahomed, A Tangled Web: The Perceived Influence of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Legislation on Corporate Social Investment in South Africa, aims to partially fill this gap. The research explores the perceived influence of the legislation on issues such as the extent, flexibility and approaches to giving; highlights the limitations that arise from the structure and framework of the legislation; and interrogates some of its unintended consequences.As discussions on the feasibility of regulatory mechanisms gain traction in other places, it is hoped that this research will help to raise key issues for consideration and exploration.
This research reflects a sector that is small, but growing steadily in numbers and diversity of offering. It also shows, not surprisingly, that the sector is mainly aligned with where institutionalised philanthropy is most visible i.e. South Africa. At the same time, however, the growing number of pan-African institutions reveals the commitment to broadening the base, and perhaps an increase of demand. Poor visibility of the sector and the limitations of existing frameworks in reflecting adequately its value, role and impact have been cited as important issues, as is the necessity of developing strong communications strategies to help profile and build awareness of the work.
Impact investing can help solve major social and environmental problems in West Africa1, leveraging new sources of capital in places that lack sufficient government resources and development aid to address development challenges.
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