Eskom collaborates to support sustainable development at Trialogue Conference

Eskom has partnered with Trialogue, South Africa’s leading CSI consultancy, in a bid to bring together business, government, civil society and academics to collaborate and innovate at the 2018 Business in Society Conference, held 8 to 9 May at The Wanderers Club in Johannesburg.

This year’s conference brought together approximately 450 delegates who explored a wide range of topics from supporting social justice through to engaging stakeholders for public good. The aim of the conference is to help business, government and civil society collaborate by sharing knowledge and new ideas to develop sustainable development solutions.

This year the Eskom Development Foundation is sponsoring the Enterprise Development topic for the Trialogue Knowledge Hub (

The Hub will remain a freely available online body of knowledge for businesses and other role-players that invest in socio-economic development. It was launched at last year’s Trialogue Business in Society Conference and hosts in-depth, accessible research and information on specific topics across 12 development sectors, with the aim of maximising the impact of corporate social investment (CSI).

The Eskom Development Foundation is tasked with implementing Eskom’s CSI strategy, and hosting the interactive Donor’s Den session this year was a no-brainer for the Foundation. This session gave representatives from three non-profit organisations the unique opportunity to pitch to a panel of donors and receive detailed feedback – thus empowering them with expert advice about how to hone their pitching and fundraising skills.

Eskom Acting Group Executive: Transmission, Mr Willy Majola opened the session by saying: “By using CSI budgets strategically we can begin to create sustainable solutions to our problems. Through strategic partnerships and collaboration we can create real value for South African communities and create a future that all South Africans can share in.”

Eskom Development Foundation CEO Cecil Ramonotsi says the Foundation has always believed that there is immense value to be found in partnerships with public and private organisations, as well as civil society.

“For several years we have been involved in Trialogue and this year we are sponsoring the Donor’s Den, it’s a great partnership that empowers NPOs. Businesses hold immense knowledge and expertise, and this partnership is a way to share our skill set with civil society to enable them to become more sustainable,” says Ramonotsi.

IkamvaYouth delivered the most well-developed and strategic pitch, winning R25 000. IkamvaYouth equips learners from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge, skills, networks and resources to access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities once they matriculate. The NPO aims to increase the collective skill level of the population, to grow the national knowledge base, and to replicate success in more communities. Established in 2003, IkamvaYouth currently operates in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Eastern Cape.

U-turn Homeless Ministries emerged as the runner-up, winning R15 000, while Siyavuna Abalimi Development Centre won R10 000 for third place.

“At Eskom we truly believe that by working together we can find sustainable solutions to the country’s developmental challenges. Platforms like the Business in Society Conference enable the Foundation to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in the CSI space while also allowing us to touch base with organisations doing important work on the ground, to get their insights into the most pressing challenges of the day. Bringing together all the key players in the sector helps to find solutions that are workable and engage both the public and private sectors,” says Ramonotsi.

NPO profiles:

Siyavuna Abalimi Development Centre, based on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, aims to develop resilient micro farmers, capable of growing enough organic fruit and vegetables to feed themselves and to sell the surplus produce for income generation. The NPO’s mission is to train and mentor emerging organic farmers for food security, developing successful micro-enterprises through Farmer’s Associations and Co-operatives that market the produce under the Kumnandi brand.

U-turn Homeless Ministries equips the homeless with skills to overcome homelessness, to reduce suffering and reduce homelessness. Based in Cape Town, the organisation would like to provide a technological platform that would enable these service providers to publish jobs and shifts at their locations.


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