South Africa: Covid-19 Will Throw a Spanner in the Works for Corporate Social Investment

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Covid-19's impact will strike charitable funding, but building trust, flexibility and stronger partnerships may prove that a crisis is exactly when donors should invest more, not less.

"Blood on the floor" - it's a description of corporate South Africa haemorrhaging as the full impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns are being measured. It will have an inevitable knock-on effect for the future direction of corporate social investment.

Dr Jonathan Bloomberg, global head of the Discovery Group's Health Insurance and the response and health lead for the national Solidarity Fund, used this imagery when he spoke at a Tshikululu Social Investment online conference on 22 October.

Bloomberg said the blow to the corporate sector in loss of earnings and growth "cannot be overestimated" and its full impacts need to be anticipated.

"Corporate SA is under huge pressure. Many of the larger and medium-sized companies in South Africa are robust and I don't believe we will see a huge number of collapses, but we will see real struggle.

"As companies batten down the hatches they will be less expansive, they will spend less and one the victims of this will be spending on corporate social investment," Bloomberg said.

It's a gloomy picture but...

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