Brands Giving Back

Celebrating the brands who make a positive impact in our communities

The top personal value that motivates consumer behaviour in South Africa’s townships is a strong sense of social duty, rather than the search for personal opportunity that drives consumers in other segments of the market. That’s according to GFK Consumer Life – a longitudinal survey GFK conducts in 25 countries, including South Africa, each year. The research also revealed that we attach a high importance to social responsibility. We aim to help ourselves in a way that will help our neighbours and peers at the same time. Thankfully, there has been a shift in recent years of brands choosing to go beyond just making money. Being locally relevant has become the new buzzword, and these brands have now become grounded and familiar within the communities in which they operate. Adapting to this way of thought has given rise to fresh marketing and social investment ideas that directly benefit and make sense to township communities. As township traders, we should always aim to support brands that continue to show a concerted effort in making a big impact and driving change within our communities. By continuing to support them, our communities benefit by being uplifted, leaving a lasting, positive impact on us all.

 In the spirit of giving back, let’s acknowledge some of the brands making waves and changing lives.

 Club10 – doing township marketing right

As township traders, we should always aim to support brands that continue to show a concerted effort in making a big impact and driving change

Club10, a proudly South African brand and the fastest-growing tavern brand in the country, focuses on adding immense value to the taverns with which it partners by engaging with the communities these taverns are entrenched in. With an emphasis on the local community and cultural environment in which they operate, it provides relevant platforms like Zazise and the HvP (Hip Hop vs Pantsula) Dance Competition, which seeks out young, raw talent in the communities surrounding the Club10 brand. This is just one of the ways that Club10 is giving back in ways that will have a lasting impact in the townships, and will provide communities with a sense of self-worth.

As a member of the ARA (the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use), it works closely with all the relevant authorities to ensure that it is at the forefront of responsible drinking. It does this by educating tavern owners and allowing their patrons to feel safe while having fun, turning Club10 taverns into places where locals hang out, watch the latest sporting events and meet friends. With more than 400 Club10 taverns nationally and still growing, licensed tavern owners are given the opportunity to join the recognised brand name without losing independence, by maintaining their current store identity. The benefits of joining the brand include sound corporate reinforcement; the installation of internal and external store signage; access to a wide range of liquor products; monthly advertising tailored to the market; national themed promotions; exclusive supplier promotions, advertising and support; business acumen on store development, store layout and category management; competitions aimed at the end consumer; and lots more.

Zazise and HvP (Hip-Hop vs Pantsula) – uncovering talent in our communities, and a mission to contribute to the development of music and dance in South Africa

Zazise, a much-hyped annual event on the Club10 calendar, is a talent competition about expressing oneself, having fun, being creative and promoting and showcasing the huge talent that we have in our local communities. Open to participants over 18 years of age, this year the focus was on aspiring DJ’s, Producers and Beat Makers. Zazise offers Club10 consumers a platform to showcase their talents, and also leads them to what could be their first big break doing what they are passionate about. The grand prize, worth R300 000 includes releasing their own music single, video and embarking on a one-year mentorship with DJ Heavy K’s Drum Boss Entertainment. The brand partners with SA entertainers proving that local is indeed lekker!

The Club10 HvP (Hip Hop vs Pantsula) Dance Competition is aimed at contributing to the development and support of the Hip Hop and Pantsula dance genres, which has been a part of kasi life for many years. The competition presents the most distinguished dance clash between these two genres and is destined to be the largest in the City of Johannesburg’s history, drawing dance crews from all over the country. The 2017 competition saw the winners walk away with a R40 000 cash prize plus R20 000 towards a charity in their hometown. Time to dust off those dancing shoes and get practising in anticipation of next year’s battle!

1 100 bicycles handed over by Volkswagen to rural schoolchildren – transforming hope into reality with the simple gift of motion

 Volkswagen has a long history of being involved in transformation in South Africa since the first Beetle rolled off the line on 31 August 1951. Besides being one of the leading passenger car manufacturers in the country, Volkswagen has also highlighted the plight of 11 million of South Africa’s 17 million school children who still walk to school – some of them taking up to four hours a day to travel to and from school. To assist these learners, Volkswagen and Qhubeka (meaning to “progress” or “move forward”) have donated almost 3 000 “Blue Bikes” to children across South Africa to give them the priceless gift of time. Volkswagen believes that less time traveling to school means more time to learn, more time to play, more time with family and, simply and probably most powerfully, the time to just be a child.

 It was a momentous occasion for 600 learners at 11 rural schools in the Nkonkobe district of the Eastern Cape as they received brand-new bicycles, funded by Volkswagen through its partners Qhubeka, World Vision South Africa and World Vision Switzerland, as part of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP). This followed on from 500 bicycles that were supplied to nine rural schools in Umzimkulu, KwaZulu-Natal, in April.

 BEEP aims to address the challenge of distance as a barrier to education. The result of distance is high levels of non-attendance and fatigue, low performance and increased drop-out rates.

 BEEP was originally started in 2009 in Zambia by World Bicycle Relief (Qhubeka is World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa). The initial programme demonstrated that bicycles could provide a safe, reliable and affordable mode of transportation for the learners, and assist in improving school attendance and academic results. Qhubeka, in partnership with World Vision South Africa, introduced BEEP in South Africa in 2013. To date, 8 100 bicycles have been delivered in five provinces.

 Volkswagen is one of the largest donors of BEEP. The cost of one bicycle is R2 320 and covers component manufacturing, delivery, a helmet, training of a field mechanic, and a monitoring and evaluation programme, among other things.

 Each BEEP learner receives a bicycle with a helmet, spanner, combination lock and pump. The learner and parents or guardian are required to sign a contract that stipulates the terms and conditions of using the bicycle (for example, that the bicycle will be used to attend school). A Bicycle Supervisory Committee is also set up at each recipient school, including representatives from the school, student governing body, local community leaders and parents. The Bicycle Supervisory Committee’s role is not only to select beneficiaries, but also to enforce the two-year study-to-own contract that governs the use of the bicycle.

 The bicycle becomes the personal property of the learner after the two-year contract has elapsed.

 As the maker of “people’s cars”, Volkswagen puts people at the heart of what it does, making it passionate about South Africans and playing a vital role to keep “moving people forward”. Under the banner of “Volkswagen for Good”, it seeks to provide motion with meaning to South Africa. The sponsorship of BEEP – or the “Blue Bikes project” – is just one example. Volkswagen South Africa and Qhubeka continue to transform hope into reality with the simple gift of motion.

The Happy Feet Youth Project – BBF Safety Group donation enables youth upliftment project to extend its reach to more children to keep them off the streets

 BBF Safety Group (Pty) Ltd was born from a merger of some of the most respected safety footwear manufacturers in South Africa – Bagshaw Footwear, Beier Safety Footwear, Bronx Safety, United Frams and Wayne. The partnership arose through shared values and its integrity has earned customers’ trust in its products and services. For the BBF Safety Group, safety is serious business. It has multiple corporate social responsibility programmes and through these, it aims to invest in employees and the communities they come from.

 The Happy Feet Youth Project is a Cape Town-based non-governmental organisation that works with underprivileged children in one of the Cape’s oldest and most overcrowded townships, Langa. The project was set up to help keep children off the streets and away from criminal elements, and expose them to brighter and better prospects outside the township.

 If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet!

 The project’s mission is powerful: to improve educational opportunities and encourage healthy lifestyles for its participating children. Values such as confidence, discipline, expression and respect are instilled through traditional children-led choreographed gumboot dancing. In addition, the project provides after-school support in computers, technology and maths, as well as a food programme to ensure children are receiving adequate nutrition.

 Wayne, a proud member of the BBF Safety Group, recently donated 48 pairs of gumboots to the Happy Feet Project. The donation will enable the project to grow its intake of young people from the township, affording them the opportunity to experience a sense of belonging, inspiration and happiness.

 “Our work would not be possible without the support of corporate sponsors such as BBF Safety Group. We are truly thrilled by the arrival of our new ‘music instruments’, and extend our sincere thanks to the people who made it possible,” says Siviwe Mbinda, founder of The Happy Feet Youth Project.

 On the day of the handover, Wayne employees were fortunate enough to meet Siviwe and the children and attempted to learn some of the more “simple” dancing steps – which the children can do with ease.

 “The dancing was a lot more difficult than it looks, but what a pleasure to meet Siviwe and the wonderful children at Happy Feet. It was eye-opening to see how you can do so much with so little, and how this project positively prepares them for a much bigger stage in life. It was an amazing experience that I was honoured to be part of,” commented Handre Botha, sector specialist, BBF Safety Group.

 Wayne, as part of the BBF Safety Group, is committed to promoting social and economic equality in South Africa.