Integrated Annual Report

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Supporting our communities

The Italtile and Ceramic Foundation

The Italtile Foundation and Ceramic Foundation ("the Foundation") is a Broad-Based Black Ownership Scheme, with the objective of conducting public benefit activities (PBO ref no: 930044728) in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic and philanthropic intent, working towards the transformation and upliftment of previously disadvantaged communities.

The Foundation accepts and deploys socio-economic development as well as skills development donations in terms of the BBBEE legislation.

The Foundation's distributions are towards public benefit activities relating to education, sport and conservation.


  • Bursaries: The Foundation funds and manages a bursary programme that sponsors students with extreme financial need and high academic potential. There are currently 10 tertiary students as well as seven high school students studying with funding from the Foundation. One chemical engineering student recently graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand and has found employment at a major soap manufacturer.
  • Hope School for the Disabled: The Foundation completed renovations to the girls' residence which houses approximately 50 girls. The renovations comprised maintenance and repair of the building and bathrooms to provide the students with more space, privacy and independence. The Foundation will soon be working together with the school to renovate the boys' residence which currently houses 78 boys.
  • Salvazione Christian School: The bathrooms in the existing school building were recently renovated and the Foundation would like to thank all the companies within the Group that assisted with material required. Construction of the foundation phase school is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed by January 2020. This new build which is funded by the Foundation together with other donors will afford more space in the original school building for Grades 4 to 7.
  • One School at a Time ("OSAAT"): Through OSAAT, the Foundation sponsors Forte High School in Soweto which currently has 2 002 learners. Funds donated to the school are channelled to projects such as PROJECT 100%, an extra lessons programme for all matric students aimed at continuously improving the matric pass rate of the school, as well as providing stationery, toiletries and other consumables. Forte High achieved a matric pass rate of 88% in 2018.
  • Mahareng Secondary School: The Foundation runs an asset-based community-driven development programme at the school, based in Vanderbijlpark.
  • PEN - Kagiso project: The purpose of this pre-school forum is to improve ECD interventions for vulnerable children as the aim is to have a meaningful impact on their wellbeing and learning outcomes. Three crèches in the Kagiso area were selected for this project.
  • Buang Day Care: A prefab classroom was donated by the Foundation to the day care centre, the classroom will be utilised as a library to encourage reading and literacy for the children in the Dobsonville community.
  • Setlabotjha Primary School: The Foundation sponsors two programmes at the primary school:
    • Homework Support Programme: Through the READ organisation, this programme is aimed at improving the learners' language and reading skills.
    • Field Band Foundation: Through participation in band activities, young people who might otherwise have little opportunity for constructive recreational activity, are taught the advantages of life skills such as commitment, competitiveness, teamwork, discipline and timekeeping. In so doing, the advantages of heightened self-esteem and associated self-confidence are inculcated.

While teaching music, movement and dance is the core of the Field Band Foundation's activities, band members also receive:

  • HIV/Aids peer education;
  • general education in social development; and
  • specific life skills training.
Sports fields

The Foundation has built three sports fields in Meadowlands in Soweto, Thohoyandou in Limpopo, and Acornhoek in Mpumalanga. Another sports field is set to be built in Steelpark in Vereeniging and will be completed by 2020. These sports fields are equipped with:

  • soccer pitch;
  • netball/volleyball/basketball courts;
  • change rooms and ablution facilities;
  • kiddies play area; and
  • picnic area.

The sports fields are built for the benefit of the local youth. Schools within the communities are invited to participate in soccer and netball in the annual CTM/Top T Cup.


Dreamfields is an organisation that establishes soccer and netball leagues in schools and hosts referee and umpire workshops for school coaches for the benefit of the local children.

Through the Foundation's sponsorship, Dreamfields has a footprint in the following areas:

  • 40 schools in Acornhoek;
  • 16 schools in Thohoyandou;
  • 10 schools in Sebokeng;
  • eight schools in Hammanskraal; and
  • eight schools in Kagiso.

The schools are provided with soccer and netball equipment as well as full training kits.


The main projects sponsored by the Foundation under this category are:

  • Birdlife Important Biodiversity Area ("IBA") Programme: The IBA Programme aims to ensure that important sites, habitats and associated ecosystem services are protected and sustainably managed for the benefit of birds, other biodiversity, and humans.
  • Lapalala Wilderness School: Students from schools that are sponsored by the Foundation (Forte High School, Salvazione Christian School, Mahareng Secondary School and Setlabotjha Primary School) are sent to the Lapalala Wilderness School annually for one week to learn about the importance of the environment and how to take care of and preserve it.

The Foundation sponsors WWF, which in turn employs the funds according to project needs.

Corporate social investment: Italtile Retail


In June 2018, our Italtile Polokwane store received a request from the founders of Daktari to assist with the renovation of the school's offices. Once our Polokwane team learnt about the school's vision, mission and close involvement with the community, the decision to support the cause was unanimous.

Daktari provides supplementary environmental and life skills education to Grade 8 learners in the neighbouring underprivileged communities. Their mission is to educate and inspire local children to value their environment and, in so doing, to stimulate the upliftment of their community.

The impact the school has on the community is considerable. Teachers have reported that the children display improved concentration; learners are also more polite, more confident about speaking up in class, and show greater self-esteem. Overall, there is a higher pass rate at the end of the year. Most notably, there have been cases when Daktari schoolchildren have prevented the formation of poaching parties within their villages.

Italtile Polokwane donated 100 m2 of floor tiles for the renovation project. "This donation is a token of our appreciation for the incredible work and achievements of the founders - Ian and Michèle Merrifield - and their staff and volunteers. It was a privilege to play our part in an initiative that brings about meaningful change in the community in which we work."

Sias Human, Italtile Polokwane


In 2018, Italtile Retail partnered with The Little Optimist - an organisation founded by Greg Bertish to support sick and needy children across the Western Cape. On 21 October 2018 we participated in the inaugural Great Little Optimist Boat Race, in which 42 sailors navigated the tricky waters around the V&A Waterfront to raise much needed funds for worthy charities.

Competitors included celebrities, corporates, charities and medical survivors. All funds raised at the event were donated to The Little Optimist Trust, as well as other charities involved, including the NSRI and The Newborns Trust. The Little Optimist Trust also hosted sailing experiences and academies for children from less fortunate circumstances over the course of the three-day event.


On World Environment Day on 5 June, Italtile Retail, the Group's Support Services division and Ceramic Industries' staff spent the day at Dawn Park Primary School in Boksburg planting a biodiversity garden. With the support of our environmental education partner, our team and the school's learners planted a sustainable, water-wise garden consisting of indigenous trees, shrubs and herbs. The learners were taught the names and uses of all the plants and how the garden could be used as an outdoor classroom. They also learnt about food chains, biodiversity and ecosystems, and assisted with making labels out of recycled materials for the plants. In a practical exercise, they were educated about pollution, with all participants involved in a litter clean-up on the school's premises.

Corporate social investment: CTM


August 2018

CTM hosted the fourth annual netball and soccer Champions Cup at our sports centre in Meadowlands, Soweto. In total 16 neighbouring schools participated in the tournament. Each school was allocated to one of four categories: primary or high school netball, and primary or high school soccer. The tournament provided a fun day for families and included a range of other activities such as a skate clinic, traditional dance performances, a colouring corner and face painting. Italtile staff and their families joined in the festivities. The winners in each category (among whom were three defending champions), were presented with a R15 000 cash prize for use by their school to address a critical need at the school. Top players in the respective sporting codes were also awarded with individual prizes.


April 2019

The second annual CTM Champions Cup soccer and netball competition was held in partnership with the Vhembe District Municipality and the Dreamfields Project. On the evening prior to the event, the Vhembe District Municipality hosted a gala dinner to celebrate this tournament and the valuable contribution it makes to the community. In total eight schools from the Sibasa Circuit and the two defending champions from the previous year participated in this popular community event, which was broadcast live by a regional radio station. At the end of the tournament, defending champions Tshiluvhi Primary School (soccer) and Mulamuli Primary School (netball) came out tops and each won R15 000 for their school. The best player in each sporting code also received a trophy, certificate and a cash voucher to a sports retailer.


January 2019

In November 2018, CTM embarked on a Dignity Drive project aimed at improving sanitation facilities in disadvantaged schools - a critical need in the local education sector. Gahlanso Primary School in Tembisa was chosen as the recipient of our 2018 Dignity Drive initiative. The project involved renovating two of the school's bathroom blocks, including the full replacement of all sanitaryware, and painting and retiling of the buildings. The newly renovated bathrooms, which provide the learners of Gahlanso with hygienic, safe facilities, were officially handed over to the school in January 2019.


With conservation being an important focus area for the Group, Rhino Stone tiles from the Kilimanjaro range were used for the renovation. CTM and Ceramic Industries have pledged to save the rhino, one box at a time, by contributing R5 to the Stop Rhino Poaching organisation for every box of selected Kilimanjaro tiles sold. To date, R3 million has been donated.


June 2019

Numerous disadvantaged schoolchildren in the less privileged areas of Thohoyandou, Limpopo, attend school barefoot or in broken footwear. In light of this plight, CTM visited Dzivhani Primary School to donate new school shoes, gently worn casual shoes, scarves and beanies to the learners. In addition, Italtile's staff, in collaboration with a regional radio station which raised awareness of the campaign, also donated gently worn shoes. With the help of the school's management, the shoes were distributed among the learners with the greatest need.

Corporate social investment: TopT


The Precious Hearts Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a passion for youth and family and a specific focus on the most underprivileged women and children in society. TopT partnered with the Foundation to donate classroom stationery to Cosmo City Junior Primary School in Randburg, Gauteng. This initiative focused on the foundation age phase, being Grade R to Grade 4. Ten Grade R and Grade 1 classes received alphabet charts and classroom timetables, while 13 Grade 2, 3 and 4 classes were provided with classroom timetables and multiplication tables. As part of the project, TopT's management and staff volunteered to distribute the stationery and help out with the classes. The interaction and donation was welcomed by the learners.


TopT, in conjunction with qualified doctors from the community outreach organisation, Docs on Health, launched a collaborative initiative to demonstrate the brand's care and concern for the health of its local communities. Docs on Health pride themselves on providing a practical and methodical delivery of knowledge, enabling fellow South Africans to become well informed. This is in keeping with our belief at TopT that it is never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest you.

The programme, which was funded by TopT and conducted over a four-month period in four of the brand's regions, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo, involved two components:

  • the first comprised a school hygiene programme, focusing on local primary schools in close proximity to our stores. Outreach activities were conducted at four schools in Mpumalanga, five in Limpopo, six in Gauteng and four in North West, reaching a total of 11 914 learners. In a fun interactive approach, the edutainment seminars were presented by the doctors and our very popular TopT mascot, to educate the children regarding the importance of practicing simple daily hygiene routines aimed at ensuring good health. In addition, the children were inspired to encourage their parents to visit the stores for free screening tests.

Each child received a box of crayons and an activity book, and those who participated in the Q&A session after the seminars were awarded spot prizes. The programme was enthusiastically received by the staff and learners and the feedback subsequent to the initiative has been extremely positive.

  • the second component followed on from the school hygiene drive, which sensitised both learners and their parents to a range of free health screening tests conducted for our customers at our stores. The tests included blood pressure monitoring; body mass index ("BMI") measurement; and blood glucose estimation. Docs on Health and TopT are gratified by the good response to and success of the programme.


As part of the Heritage Day celebrations on 24 September 2018, our TopT Limpopo and TopT Waterberg team members chose to wear traditional clothing to work, to show their commitment to celebrating our African heritage and to pay respect to the diverse communities we serve.

As a token of appreciation to our customers, every single shopper who purchased from these stores on Heritage Day received a thermal lunch bag. The message printed on the lunch bag, 'We are Africans not because we are born in Africa, but because Africa is born in us', reflects TopT's passion for our country and its people.

The unexpected gift was warmly received by each delighted customer.


March 2019

TopT, in partnership with the Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Trust, Dreamfields and Conservation SA, inaugurated the new TopT sports field in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga, and hosted the first annual TopT Champions Cup. The new sporting facilities consist of a football field, two combi courts, change rooms and ablution facilities, and a covered seating area for spectators.

Two hundred students from 14 surrounding community schools participated in the netball and soccer tournament. Six primary schools competed for the netball title and another six schools competed for the soccer title. Jameyana Primary won the netball competition while Sihlekisi Primary won the soccer, with both teams awarded R15 000 each for their schools. As the hosting school, Acorns to Oaks Comprehensive played Magwagwaza High and Maphuthadichaba High in friendly netball and soccer matches. Acorns to Oaks won the netball match, and Maphuthadichaba won the soccer match; each school was awarded R5 000 for its efforts. Four delighted learners also received shopping vouchers and a trophy for their exceptional performance on the day.

Corporate social investment: Ceramic Industries

The key focus areas remain education and sports development. Our projects are a combination of structured projects and those arising out of community needs. However, the common thread is the ability to maintain shared value for the Company and the communities in which we operate. All projects had a direct impact on 100% black beneficiaries from disadvantaged communities.


Mahareng High School Science Laboratory

Ceramic adopted a community high school close to the Vereeniging factory. In addition to sponsoring and managing various programmes for both learners and teachers, we launched a state-of-the-art science laboratory for the school. This purpose-built facility has served more than 150 learners with marked increases being noted in the school's physical science results.

SAMCA TRAC Science Mobile Laboratory

Ceramic sponsors five mobile laboratories at under-serviced schools in the Hammanskraal area in Gauteng. Our mobile science labs are designed to encourage young people to consider and prepare for careers in science, engineering and technology. Learners, with the support of the learning facilitators, work in groups, conduct experiments, record and analyse results. Vocational guidance is also given to Grades 11 and 12 learners. This programme currently reaches 406 learners and teachers.

Early Childhood Development ("ECD") Tiling Project

Ceramic donated tiles to more than 100 crèches and primary schools. This assisted these facilities to ensure that they are able to provide a hygienic space for the children. It also assisted the crèches to comply with the standards set by the Department of Social Development, which requires that floors in such institutions be washable or have a washable covering.


Through the Dreamfields organisation and co-funding provided by the Italtile and Ceramic Foundation, we support primary schools in Vereeniging, Hammanskraal and Krugersdorp with football and netball equipment and teacher coaching. DreamLeagues brings thousands of children together every week, so that sport and physical activity are a regular part of their school experience. During the month of April, tournaments were held in all regions. Ceramic Industries, Italtile and Italtile Ceramic Foundation management and employees took part in the fun-filled days, unleashing their inner sports stars. In total, 28 schools are being reached with this initiative.

Classroom revamp

One of our suppliers partnered with our Gryphon and Pegasus employees to undertake much-needed repairs in one of the Grade R classrooms at Boiketlong Primary School located in an informal settlement behind our factory. The team painted the inside and outside walls, and replaced the ceiling and windows.

Hammanskraal information sharing session

Our Ceramic employees from the SAMCA Wall factory attended a career and inspirational session at Adam Masebo School, one of the five schools we support through the SAMCA TRAC Science Mobile Laboratories. The Ceramic team shared their recipes for success and their personal stories about overcoming adversity in their youth and realising their dreams. The learners also were informed of opportunities available to them at SAMCA and the benefits of doing maths and science at school. The team addressed learners from Grades 8 to 12.

Operation Clean Up

In recognition of Mandela Day, our Betta employees collected litter and cleaned the route leading to the factory and nearby children's playground in the Kagiso area of Krugersdorp.