Oceana Group proudly announces the launch of the Oceana Foundation through which all future funding for corporate social investment (CSI) projects will be directed. The Foundation was established following an extensive review of the impact the group was making in terms of its CSI spend.

Oceana Group CEO, Francois Kuttel, says, “When we examined our CSI expenditure during 2010 it became apparent that our contributions toward projects was taking place in a rather fragmented manner given our decentralised operating structure and, as a result, the impact of our expenditure within communities was reduced. In addition, despite exceeding the required investment by government in CSI and socio economic development (SED) projects, our stakeholders were not aware of our commitment towards, and support provided to, local communities.”

Over the past six years, the group has invested R17.4 million in community projects in South Africa. Since the implementation of the broad-based black economic empowerment scorecard in 2007, Oceana has achieved maximum points for the SED element. The group’s empowerment credentials are verified by independent accredited rating agency, Empowerdex. In 2011, Oceana achieved a black-owned level 2 B-BBEE status.

Some recent CSI investments included continued support for the 8th successive year for the TSIBA University in Cape Town; upgrading school buildings at the St Helena Bay Primary School in Laingville; the handover of five digital smart boards to schools in Hout Bay, St Helena Bay and Lamberts Bay; donation of air conditioners to the Steenberg Cove Primary School in St Helena Bay and furniture to Sentinel Primary School in Hout Bay; as well as funding for, and the packing of 16,200 food parcels by employees for the Stop Hunger campaign.

The Foundation will in future consolidate Oceana’s CSI and SED spend under one banner. Within the context of two of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for South Africa, being to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1) and achieve universal primary education (MDG 2), a decision was taken that the focus areas will be education and food security. Annually a target of 1.1% of Net Profit after Tax will be directed towards CSI initiatives, which includes socio-economic projects identified in line with the B-BBEE scorecard. Communities along the Cape West Coast, Eastern Cape coastal communities and Walvis Bay have been identified as areas that will be targeted.

The launch of the Oceana Foundation will see the handover of three minibuses by Mr Langa Zita, the Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, to the principals of the St Helena Bay Primary School, PW de Bruin Primary School (located in Lamberts Bay) and Sentinel Primary School (located in Hout Bay). In addition, sports kits will be handed over to the St Helena Bay Primary School’s netball team selected to participate in the National Championship Tournament during the March school vacation. The launch will take place at the group’s Oceana Brands factory in St Helena Bay at 11h30 on 22 March 2012.

As a leader in the fishing industry in South Africa, Oceana realises the need to be at the forefront in respect of empowerment in order to demonstrate our support for government’s transformation objectives and deliver on the expectations of all its stakeholders. We are confident that the launch of this Foundation will assist in meeting this objective.

For more information, kindly contact OGL Communications Manager, Anthea Abraham:aabraham@oceana.co.za.