...With Ansonette van der Merwe, Capespan Foundation Manager.
Why do you do the job you do?
Because I care about improving living conditions for disadvantaged people,
particularly children and the elderly.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
To experience how a small start gains momentum and evolves
into significant improvements.
What motivates you?
People and communities that embrace opportunities to improve their lives,
who are looking for “hand-ups” rather than “hand-outs”.
Where does CSI/CSR need to develop in South Africa?
Corporate/commercial business should be able to focus on innovative and real sustainable
social- and economic-development projects. Government should focus on honouring its basic
social and community responsibilities.
Currently it seems as if corporations and commercial business are expected to ‘come to the rescue’
where the Public System is failing our country’s vulnerable citizens.
Why do you believe you can change the world?
I might not be able to change ‘the’ world, but I am able to change ‘my’ world by participating in efforts to improve
the part of the world in which I live and operate in.
The Capespan Foundation provides HIV/AIDS voluntary testing, as well as health-related educational
awareness programmes and training to rural agricultural workers in areas in which the company operates, including:
- The Northern Cape table grape farms;
- The Eastern Cape citrus farming community (whilst also supporting the Thembalethu HIV/Aids
- Trust in the Sundays River/Addo region);
- Limpopo and Mpumalanga citrus farms.
The Capespan Foundation’s educational support programmes include:
- The establishment and ongoing support for pre-school centres on Northern Cape table grape farms;
- The establishment and ongoing support for an Adult Training and Education Centre on Northern Cape table grape farm;
- The establishment and ongoing support for pre-school and after-school tutoring centres on Western Cape fruit farms;
- Support and funding for Grabouw Secondary School;
- Support and funding for Agter-Witzenberg Primary School (rural Ceres area).
Capespan partners with, and supports Siphila Sonke, a community based Non-Profit
Organisation that provides basic care, as well as nutritional, emotional and spiritual support
to those most in need in the Grabouw informal community, and in other underdeveloped settlement areas.