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Doing good while doing business

Bigen Africa’s Akaretsa campaign to raise millions in funds for beneficiaries

Bigen Africa, a leading multinational provider of sustainable infrastructure development solutions with a particular focus on “doing good while doing business”, has set itself an audacious fundraising target for 2016 – to hand over R2 million to various beneficiaries by the end of September 2016.

This bold decision was taken last year, after the Group had met its target of raising R1 million through its Akaretsa CSI campaign which was generously supported by employees as well as partners, suppliers and clients. Encouraged by this success, Bigen Africa decided to double its target for this year.

Bigen Africa’s ambitious Akaretsa campaign not only aims to raise R2 million in funds for charity this year, but also includes actively “doing good while doing business”, as per the Group’s official creed. In the Lephalale Municipality, Bigen Africa’s Revenue and Financial Management team identified three underprivileged families in May, as part of a housing intervention, and designed and constructed houses for them within two months. Shown here are is one of the deserving recipients of the donated houses.

Bigen Africa’s ambitious Akaretsa campaign not only aims to raise R2 million in funds for charity this year, but also includes actively “doing good while doing business”, as per the Group’s official creed. In the Lephalale Municipality, Bigen Africa’s Revenue and Financial Management team identified three underprivileged families in May, as part of a housing intervention, and designed and constructed houses for them within two months. Shown here are is one of the deserving recipients of the donated houses.

Social conscience
“A social conscience is a part of the Bigen Africa DNA,” says Anton Boshoff, Chief Executive Officer. “It is an integral aspect of the corporate culture. With an official creed of ‘doing good while doing business’, the Group has a rich history of being active in CSI, undertaking developmental projects to benefit local communities beyond commercial value or demand. In 2014, management also established the Akaretsa campaign to support various non-profit organisations.”

The funds raised in 2015 were donated to various beneficiaries – skills developer POPUP, Mamelodi Hospice, the charitable trust Funanani and Vanani Primary School near East London. Some of the funds were also used to purchase a minibus for Word for the Nations Ministries in Bon Accord and a scholarship to University College Dublin was given to Sifiso Kumalo of Orlando West. With expansion into Africa being a major goal of the Bigen Africa Group, substantial donations were also given to the companies’ social partners in Ghana, Zambia and Botswana.

Fundraising efforts included Bigen Africa’s annual Golf Day, a fun event for all stakeholders involving golf challenges, prizes, sponsorships, and auction and branding opportunities. Partners and clients were furthermore invited to participate in this drive by contributing towards the Akaretsa Fund.

“The success of Bigen Africa’s Akaretsa campaign is rooted in the Group’s commitment to socio-economic upliftment,” says Boshoff, “and the fact that so many of our stakeholders have adopted this philosophy to participate in our initiatives. As we see the results of our efforts – countless lives being improved, doors opening thanks to training and development, and the sick receiving the care they need – we are rewarded and encouraged to keep ‘doing good while doing business’.”

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Fundraising efforts in 2015 included the Bigen Africa Annual Golf Day , the proceeds of which were donated to deserving causes. Pictured here are Bigen Africa” CEO Mr Anton Boshoff, and CFO Ms Sulette van Graan, handing over a cheque for R300 000.00 to POPUP CEO Marlene Freislich. POPUP was one of numerous charitable organisations which benefitted from the Akaretsa campaign.

Meaningful, positive and lasting change
As part of Bigen Africa’s CSI drive, the Group has also entered into a partnership agreement with Tshikululu Sustainable Solutions, South Africa’s leading CSI manager. This partnership hones Bigen Africa’s ability to assist its clients to develop social development strategies that are designed to achieve, meaningful, positive and long-lasting change.

“In line with the Group’s vision – to improve quality of life through the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions – projects undertaken help to ensure access to services, reduce poverty, build capacity and generate opportunities for increased economic participation and employment.” says Boshoff. “The cornerstones of this vision are job creation, SMME development, targeted procurement, community liaison through ward councillors, and local labour emancipation and remuneration management.”

In this, partnering with Tshikululu affords Bigen Africa a competitive edge, thereby optimising the economic, social and environmental development impact of infrastructure development projects for governments, clients and communities. Through its in-house capabilities and strategic partnerships, Bigen Africa is able to integrate the entire value chain in providing engineering, management consulting, development financing and advisory services, and has successfully delivered many cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in South Africa and several other African countries. Numerous industry awards attest to Bigen Africa’s unwavering quality focus and service excellence.

Please contact Bigen Africa’s Akaretsa Manager, Gilliam Swiegers on: Tel: +27 12 843 9012 should you wish to make a contribution to this worthy cause.