“Invest in the communities you operate in” -Ekandjo
Speaking at the end of the first ever conference on Corporate Social Responsibility on the topic of corporate social responsibility, challenges and solutions in the capital, MTC Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekandjo, said that many corporates in Namibia are unwilling to fund or support communities in which they operate under the pretexts of limited budgets.
“It is not always about money, every company irrespective of size and revenue can implement corporate social responsibility and projects, it should be embedded in your corporate culture,” he said.
It is not always about investing money, but simple things like employee development and producing safe and reliable products is also part of being socially responsible. Corporates should invest based on their business maturity level, and therefore everybody can participate in corporate social responsibility irrespective of size and income, said Ekandjo.
Companies must not just look at returns in investment.“At MTC, we have long graduated from the approach that looks specifically for the monetary returns for such investments, and have always taken a view that CSR should be a conscious duty and voluntary, with the overlaying impression that we are doing it to the advancement of the country by helping Government achieve some of its objectives of social upliftment,” he said.
Ekandjo explained that being corporate socially responsible citizens translates into poverty alleviation, community development, skills transfer and has many benefits which include enhanced brand, credible reputation and corporate image and the ability to attract and retain investors and employees because of good image.
Rubbishing public perception that MTC’s huge involvement in CSR is because they are the most profitable company he said based on the last study, they are the 5th most profitable company and the only reason they are number one in terms of social investments is because they have adopted a corporate culture and genuinely believe that their contribution will make a sustainable difference in the long term.
Ekandjo’ s sentiments were shared by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya, who opened the conference saying there is growing awareness globally on the role which businesses should play in improving the communities in which they operate.