A Time for Nation Building

A people in mourning has a profound opportunity to honour its Founding Father with a very simple commitment – to build a nation of greater opportunity and choice for people at the lowest of our economic, educational and living standard rungs. There can hardly be a better practical way than by committing to the Nation Builder campaign.

Conceptualised and run by Pretoria’s Muthobi Foundation, this effort works off an understanding that the private sector is keen for societal success and that it undertakes a myriad social investment activities to help this to happen.

This will come as no surprise, given that a Barclays Wealth report found South Africans to individually be the world’s second most generous people (after Americans), while Statistics SA reports that 1,4 million donated time to schools and community projects last year, and census data shows that one-in-three South African adults gave to charity or other works of public benefit in 2012.

Such actions of goodwill are complemented by those of businesses of all sizes. Most of these initiatives are undertaken independent of one another, something that often strengthens their effect by allowing for different approaches to business-backed social development to be used by different companies of varying size, in different contexts.

Nevertheless, it would surely be useful for companies across the country to receive tips on lessons learned by their peers in this work, and to share their own lessons and news of what works best, and of what is less effective, in these efforts.

To do this, Nation Builder have created an online presence along with regular electronic communications, and learning/sharing events to strengthen best practice corporate social investment (CSI) across the country (see http://www.proudnationbuilder.co.za/).

There is no “catch” in this campaign, and it is not a front for marketing of any product or brand – it is simply what it says it is – a national, low-key private sector initiative to promoting best practice CSI that works to greatest advantage for all who are building South Africa through company initiatives in social development. The time for such a campaign is now. South Africa calls.

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