TSUMEB - The former Tsumeb Constituency Councilor (MP) Nico Kaiyamo has challenged empowerment companies and already established businesses to prove their commitment towards the less fortunate through social responsibility projects.
Kaiyamo made the remarks when handing over a donation of close to forty-thousand to the Oshikoto Regional Education Directorate to host a debate competition at Tsumeb recently.
He made the donation on behalf of the trustees of the Oshikoto Trust of Tulimevava, the only empowerment company with fishing rights from the Oshikoto region. The Trust puts emphasis on the promotion of education, social welfare, as well as programmes dealing with HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children, marginalised communities and pensioners.
Kaiyamo told New Era that many companies are paying mere lip service to genuine social responsibility, whereas such companies exploit consumers base without mercy without ploughing back into communities. He said most companies have no social responsibility initiatives and still lag behind compared to the spirit of “giving back” which is predominantly spearheaded by fishing companies which were allocated quotas late last year.
“We only read about this and that fishing company living up to their social responsibility aspect of a certain community but what happened to the big guns and others who continue to milk consumers on a daily basis,” he queried. Kaiyamo commended the initiators of the Local Authority based Social Responsibility Index Company (LASRIC) for exposing non-performing actors and companies in every town, village or municipal area that does not honour the social responsibility aspects towards their communities.
LASRIC will also register the extent to which complying companies commit to their social responsibility promises to those communities that support their businesses. The work will be carried out in consultation with the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development to enable government to create a database of all registered companies and their policy positions relating to the social responsibility governance aspect.
“The survival of any business in this country primarily depends on the level of support received from communities in their respective areas of operation. Businesses therefore cannot do without communities living in local authorities. Imagine the day when consumer (community) interest fails your company. I am sure you will close shop, therefore do not underestimate the relevance and power of people who make your business,” cautioned Kaiyamo.
Kaiyamo, aka the ‘Spin Doctor’, further stressed that not only do communities support businesses in monetary terms, but that workers make an impact on the positive turn-over of companies hence the need for their families and children to benefit indirectly through social responsibility initiatives whether in the form of support towards construction of crèches, schools, churches, sports facilities or other intervention projects aimed at creating jobs for the unemployed.