Why should companies be socially responsible in a society where social issues are addressed by government, trade unions and NGO’s?” Well these are the comments and views which came about as the Behold team discusses the role of private business in social responsibility.
Government and non-profit organisations, such as NGO’s and trade unions do not always have enough resources and man-power to address all social issues, so private companies requested to involve themselves in this regard. Furthermore, companies operate in the same environment, so they need to be weary of external elements, that affect their business operation. Siphe, Head of Research at Behold, also adds that corporate responsibility contributes to a good reputation and such involvement can allow for opportunities to be available to them as far as expansion is concerned. “ Sometime people buy into a product because of the company profile”, says Thato.
Sive, on the other hand, Head of Business Development, focuses on the development of human capital during this debate/discussion. According to Sive, private businesses have the responsibility to invest in the development of human capital. This benefits the society as well the business itself.
People ?!! Individuals !!??
During the debate we discuss how essentially the business is always made up of individuals, so why not invest in these individuals?
“So companies are made up of individuals, so they need to show that they care for the individual and need to be responsible towards the society, because it is society that produces these individuals.”
“Will there ever be enough help?” Thato, Financial Manager, stresses that social issues affect us every day. “The more hands we have, the easier it is for us to make a visible and sustainable difference in society”.
All the bodies mentioned in the questions need to work together, according to Project Manager, Sisanda “You cannot operate as an island.” Essentially, all the bodies operate in the very same society, so isolation is not the way forward. Furthermore, no single body can body can be responsible for the of society, single-handedly, adds Thina Head of Market Research.
“Izandla ziyagezana”, a Zulu saying, which simply mean, “the one hand washes the other”, in direct translation. This saying essentially means that we need each other to assist each other. In this regard being socially responsible, in a way uplifts different parts and aspects of society, but also benefits the company. As mentioned earlier, people buy into companies which “do good”, which have a good image in society and the human capital which is invested into, benefits the company.