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BASF in South Africa celebrates company’s 150th anniversary

Categories: COMPANY NEWS , Sustainability
“When we focus on science and technology we can change economies and develop lives.

Johannesburg, South Africa – February 11, 2015. At the recent 150 year anniversary celebration launch event of BASF, the German chemical company announced a number of local new Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives aimed at social change and  environmental sustainability.

In support of these initiatives, guest speaker at the launch event,
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice Principal of Research &
Innovation at the University of South Africa, said that for companies
to be durable and have longevity, they need to contribute to social
change and the sustainability of the environment within the
communities they work. “Companies can no longer operate in
isolation from the issues facing the communities in which they work,”
she said. Professor Phakeng said that innovation and application
was, in part, needed to address basic needs of every community, in
search of a better life. “When the expertise of maths and science, for
which BASF is known, is added to ideas that seek to solve societal
problems, solutions will be found for a better future,” she said.
“When we focus on science and technology we can change
economies and develop lives. Science can challenge poverty,
corruption, and the many ills of the environment.”

To this end, BASF announced that it has signed a sponsorship
contract with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s highly
successful technology-assisted Mathematics & Science Support
programme.

Under the leadership of Professor Werner Olivier, the Mathematics
and Science support programme, as part of the Govan Mbeki
Mathematics Development Unit (GMMDU), is aimed at both
teachers and learners, and reaches out to selected disadvantaged
secondary schools. The programme aims to utilise the latest digital
content and related materials and equipment to enhance the science
and mathematics experience in the classroom environment. At the
anniversary event, BASF donated R310 000 to the GMMDU.

According to BASF Vice-President and Head of BASF Business
Center South Africa and Sub-Sahara, Joan-Maria Garcia-Girona,
BASF has recognized that the deepening crisis in science and
mathematics education is having a serious impact on skills
development and subsequent economic growth in the country. On
the announcement of the sponsorship of the programme, he said:
“BASF, as a socially responsible citizen of South Africa, and with its
own science and technology background, has committed to
supporting initiatives such as this that have a proven successful
track-record and focus on enabling our educators and learners.”
Another focus topic of BASF’s 150 anniversary year is South Africa’s
growing water crisis and how to collaborate with all communities and
stakeholders to find sustainable solutions for this pressing issue.

With an increasing world population the demand for water continues
to grow, resulting in it becoming an increasingly scarce resource. In
South Africa alone, more than three million people suffer from lack of
water. This is why the BASF Stiftung,  a charitable foundation based
in Ludwigshafen, Germany, has started a project together with the
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to help the local
community of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa’s
main water source, to develop a stable drinking water system.

TheSouth African Department of Environmental Affairs implemented the
project locally, supported by BASF in South Africa.
At the anniversary event, BASF award-winning “Working for water”,
the Corporate Global Image Campaign Water Film, which
highlighted this project, was locally launched. This film was recently
honoured with the EVCOM Clarion Award in London, as well as the
Mobious Award. It also received numerous other awards in Europe
and globally. According to BASF’s Head of Business Center South
Africa and Sub-Sahara, Joan-Maria Garcia-Girona, the company is
undertaking a number of initiatives in support of this awareness
project.  “Access to water remains a challenge for many of the
people in the communities that surround our business operations,”
he said.

In support of these initiatives announced by BASF, Ambassador to
the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Dr Horst Freitag,
also a guest speaker at BASF’s anniversary event, noted that
corporate social responsibility, as being demonstrated and practiced
by BASF and other German companies in South Africa, was
essential for binational relationships between the two countries to
flourish. According to Freitag, two ingredients are essential for
future relations: “Firstly, companies need to take the long-term view
and invest in South Africa and, secondly, all stakeholders – including
both our governments – must discuss and consult each other about
mutually beneficial ways to move our partnership forward and raise
our ambitions to an even higher level”.

ENDS

About BASF, South Africa

BASF has been doing business in South Africa over 45 years. Headquartered in Midrand,
Johannesburg, the BASF Group in South Africa consists of five companies with locations in
Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. BASF has six productions sites, including a world-class
automotive emission catalysts production site in Port Elizabeth. In 2012 BASF invested in a
dispersions production plant in Durban which is producing acrylic dispersions. Since 2013 former
Becker-Underwood now BASF Agricultural Solutions forms also part of our group in South Africa.

Thelocal groups’ employee complement is around 1000 people.
In 2011 BASF opened a business hub in Nairobi, Kenya. During 2012 BASF opened the second
business hub in Lagos, Nigeria. Recently a BASF Construction Chemicals admixture plant has been
inaugurated in Nairobi, Kenya. A further admixture production site is planned to be opened in Lagos,
Nigeria in 2015.

Other local group portfolio includes chemicals, plastics, dispersions, agricultural products and nutrition.
BASF products are used for industrial applications in various sectors e.g. paper, packaging, and
leather, detergents, cosmetics, construction, mining, agriculture and automotive industries. For further
local information visit the Website: www.basf.co.za.


About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from
chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’
leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social
responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to
meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving
resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in ourcorporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is
available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

http://www.basf.com or email http://www.basf.co.za

BASF Holdings
852 Sixteenth Road,Midrand
Phone:+27 11 203 2400
Media Relations
Phone:+27 41 401 1145
Mobile:+27 79 511 4086


 

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