At KAP we want to do more than just contribute to corporate social responsibility initiatives. We want to make a positive and sustainable difference in our communities.
PG Bison’s Ugie plant, situated in the Eastern Cape is one example of the positive contribution and regenerative practices the company pursues. The arrival of PG Bison in the area, with the acquisition of the local forests and the commissioning of a new particleboard line in 2008, has had a profound and positive impact on the community in the area.
PG Bison is the biggest employer in the region. In addition to the significant contribution they make to the local economy through the paying of salaries and wages and sourcing products and services from local suppliers, they have also initiated several other projects that benefit the local economy and community.
They have invested in road construction, water infrastructure, sanitation projects, electricity infrastructure, supply and support services, and a taxi rank, all of which has improved the quality of life for local residents. They have assisted the local municipality to provide services, such as water, during a recent drought. They outsource a number of functions, creating jobs and developing small businesses such as garden services, catering services and various silviculture activities.
PG Bison has invested in education and training and has created bursaries, not only for their own employees, but also for the local community to improve their skills. They have invested in the development and coaching of the local educators in critical subjects such as mathematics, physical science, accounting and English, using Infundo, a B-BBEE organisation, to drive this project. Since the inception of the project (which has expanded to seven schools in the area) pass rates have improved significantly, which has improved the quality of skills available in the area and created the opportunity for learners to obtain a tertiary education.
PG Bison has also invested in feeding schemes by donating land and equipment and providing expertise to create a sustainable vegetable project. The project is managed by the local community and employs 16 people.
In addition, PG Bison established five vegetable tunnels at early childhood development centres, which produce vegetables that are used to supplement the food parcels to feed the children in the schools. Excess vegetables are sold to raise funds for the schools.
PG Bison hosts an annual soccer and netball tournament weekend for all the local schools. This tournament creates the opportunity for community participation, bringing together the residents of Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher and Elliot. Over 4 000 people are fed over that weekend.
For PG Bison, the investment in the local community is more than simply being the right thing to do. It creates an environment for people and the community to grow and develop, and it creates a source of future employees.