Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Trust report
I am pleased to present the Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Trust ("Foundation") report for the 2023 financial year.
The Foundation is a broad-based black ownership scheme, with the objective of conducting public benefit activities (public benefit organisation ("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 and skills development donations in terms of the B-BBEE legislation and is authorised to issue 18A certificates.
The Foundation's distributions are made to public benefit activities relating to education, sport and conservation, as outlined in the following narrative.
The Foundation aims to invest in young people from their earliest years in early childhood development ("ECD"), through to schooling and post-schooling. Education is one of our strategic priorities and we strive to contribute to supporting learner outcomes in the communities in which we have a footprint.
The bursary programme provides financial support for students with acute financial needs and strong academic potential in both high school and tertiary education institutions.
There are currently 45 active bursary students, of whom 77% are females. Thirteen of the bursary recipients are high school learners and four are students living with a disability. The students, from various tertiary academic institutions, study courses including engineering, accounting and marketing, among other subjects.
Salvazione Christian School, Mayfair West, Gauteng
Salvazione Christian School is a registered independent school that operates out of a former church building in Mayfair West. The school aims to offer cost-effective quality education to the children from Slovo Park Informal Settlement and surrounding areas such as Brixton, Langlaagte and Roodepoort.
The Foundation assisted Salvazione with the construction of a new foundation-phase building in 2020. In the year under review, a contribution was made to improving the school building that serves Grades 4 to 7. The school currently has a total of 248 learners.
Forte High School, Soweto, Gauteng and One School at a Time ("OSAAT")
Forte High School is ranked as the leading township school in Gauteng and achieved a 95,3% matric pass rate in 2022 (94% in 2021), of which 57% were Bachelor's passes. The school currently has a total of 2 145 students, of which 301 are matriculants.
Forte High is partnered with the non-profit CSI initiative, OSAAT, which is focused on 'creating a proper solution for education in South Africa'. Its goal at Forte High is to elevate the matric pass rate to 100% with a 60% university exemption rate. In 2008, when OSAAT first started working with Forte High, the pass rate was 52% with only 18% Bachelor's passes. The school's results for the year under review reflect the success of the partnership and are a testament to the excellent work done by OSAAT.
During the reporting period, the Foundation's funding for Forte High continued to be directed to:
- Project Top Class - rewarding the top-performing matric class with an outing of their choice every term to encourage dedication and team work;
- Project 100% - provision of extra lessons for matric students;
- academic achievement awards to top students, top teachers and support staff of the school; and
- motivational guest speakers and presentations.
In addition to this funding, we purchased sports equipment for the school and funded the repainting of the school hall and the administration block.
Foundation Phase Teacher and Learner Development (READ Educational Trust)
READ is a South African educational trust that operates broadly in the education and literacy sectors, specifically in educator training and the provision of school resources. In 2013, the Foundation partnered with READ to improve literacy through providing a homework support programme at Setlabotjha Primary School in Sebokeng, Gauteng. In 2020, a teacher-support programme was introduced to strengthen the programme.
The programme now works with four primary schools in Sebokeng and four primary schools in Hammanskraal. The total number of beneficiaries in this project is 14 462 learners.
Mathematics and Science support in Kagiso High Schools (TRAC)
The TRAC programme for high schools in Kagiso, Gauteng, was launched in 2020 and consists of three pillars, namely academic intervention, assistance with tertiary education applications, and bursary applications.
In terms of the academic intervention, TRAC offers a Mathematics and Physical Science programme, whereby the learning facilitators visit each school once a week, conducting interactive Mathematics and Physical Science classes for Grades 11 and 12.
The TRAC intervention in the five targeted Kagiso high schools has made good progress since inception, having recorded an increase in numbers of learners taking Mathematics and Physical Science. All five of the participant schools outperformed the Department of Basic Education's ("DBE") national and district pass rate during the review period.
The collective pass rate for the TRAC schools was 83,55% in Physical Science and 61,47% in Mathematics, while the DBE's was 74,6% in Physical Science and 55% in Mathematics.
During the reporting period, the Foundation held a roadshow with TRAC and Ceramic Industries' Betta Sanitaryware division. The purpose of the roadshow was to highlight the importance of the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Foundation also used the opportunity to provide additional support in the form of Mathematics and Physical Science study guides and scientific calculators. The total number of students in the TRAC programme is 520.
Field Band Foundation ("FBF")
In the year under review, the FBF continued to work with Setlabotjha Primary School and the Tshirela Group in Sharpeville, Gauteng.
The FBF provides young people with a constructive recreational outlet while teaching them important life skills.
During the reporting period, the Setlabotjha Field Band leadership, in partnership with community stakeholders, formed a Steering Committee in each community with the objective of optimising the value of all Field Band initiatives and activities for band members, their families and the community.
The following activities were conducted in addition to the weekly band practice:
- 53 stakeholder engagements, of which eight were with parents. These engagements ensure clear communication and procedures are in place to facilitate swift action and support to members when required in emergency situations.
- 124 life skills lessons were facilitated.
- 12 one-on-one child-centred interviews were conducted by the Social Officer and followed by 48 home visits.
FBF has 309 band members.
Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Classroom in Soweto, Gauteng
During the reporting period, a classroom tutor, appointed by the Foundation, continued to assist primary scholars of all grades with homework classes three days a week at the CTM Sports Field facility in Soweto, Gauteng. Each class is attended by approximately 60 learners.
We recently opened a library next to the classroom for the use of learners who attend homework classes.
The Foundation purchased most of the books, while others were donated by the Group's members of staff. The reading material includes primary school books that will help the children to improve their spelling, grammar, visual learning and general knowledge. The library is managed by the classroom tutor.
Dignity Drive in Sebokeng, Gauteng
In 2020, the Foundation launched the Dignity Drive campaign in communities around Ceramic Industries' factories, aimed at improving ablution facilities in local schools. In the year under review, Mabu-a-Tlou Primary School in Hammanskraal was selected for this year's intervention. The school is also a participant in the Dreamfields programme (discussed further under Sport).
Materials required for the refurbishment project were sourced from within the Italtile Group, including tiles and sanitaryware from Ceramic Industries, taps from ITD, and lighting from U-Light.
The total number of students at the school is 1 085.
Kagiso and Soweto crèche forum in conjunction with Participate Empower Navigate ("PEN")
In partnership with the PEN organisation, the Foundation continues to invest in reducing the problem of poor quality ECD centres by offering owners and caregivers holistic support and a realistic opportunity to improve their centres themselves, thereby implementing changes that will be sustainable post-NPO interventions. Areas identified for improvement and support include facilities; health and safety; administration; and education and learning.
The Kagiso programme was established in 2019, while the Soweto programme started in 2022. There are currently 30 crèches in the Kagiso forum and 14 crèches in the Soweto forum, catering for a total of 1 192 pre-primary learners in Kagiso and 777 in Soweto.
During the year, a second prefabricated classroom was purchased by the Foundation to enable the PEN team to operate from our CTM Sports Field in Soweto, Gauteng, where the teachers from the various centres meet weekly with the PEN coaches.
In addition to the aforementioned formal education-related programmes, we also assisted with funding renovations of two crèches in Vrededorp and Soweto. The Soweto crèche is part of the PEN programme. Materials for the renovations were sourced from Group companies.
Sports fields for local communities
In the period under review, the Foundation continued to support the Italtile Group in maintaining its community-centred sports fields in Meadowlands and Steelpark, Vereeniging, in Gauteng, Thohoyandou in Limpopo and Acornhoek in Mpumalanga. In addition, in partnership with the brands and business units in the Italtile Group, annual soccer and netball tournaments are hosted for schools situated in the respective communities where the sports fields are located.
Partnership with Dreamfields
The Foundation continued to provide support to the Dreamfields organisation, which conducts soccer and netball clinics for schools in Mpumalanga (52 schools), Thohoyandou (16 schools), Vereeniging (12 schools), Hammanskraal, Kagiso and Soweto (eight schools each respectively).
We currently have a reach of 32 964 students through the Dreamfields' initiatives.
During the year, we added eight new schools from the Empangeni area in KwaZulu-Natal to the programme.
Combi-courts in Sebokeng, Gauteng
The Foundation also funded the erection of four combi-courts in the reporting period - two at Rethabile Primary School in Hammanskraal, Gauteng (1 498 learners), one at Fadimeha Primary School in Vereeniging (696 learners) and one at Lefika Primary School in Vereeniging (700 learners). The schools are members of the Dreamfields programme and will therefore also benefit from sports development training provided by the organisation. The combi-courts are designed to be used for netball, basketball, and volleyball.
Other sports-related projects undertaken during the year include the purchase of wheelchairs for Hope School. The wheelchairs are specifically designed to be used when playing basketball and tennis.
Lapalala Wilderness School ("LWS")
Students from schools that are sponsored by the Foundation, namely Forte High School, Salvazione Christian School, Mahareng Secondary School, and Setlabotjha Primary School, attend the LWS for one week every year to learn about the importance of the environment, how to take care of it and preserve it.
A new school building, which houses classrooms, accommodation, offices and a kitchen, was completed and officially opened in November 2022 at Lapalala; the Foundation contributed to its funding, while Group companies supplied the materials for the project.
In addition, the Foundation contributed to the World Environment Day and World Rhino Day programmes held by LWS during the year.
The total number of LWS beneficiaries is 3 220.
BirdLife South Africa
The Foundation continues to partner with BirdLife South Africa to support the facilitation and development of community conservation projects via the Empowering People Programme in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
This project aims to promote education about conservation issues and thereby engender a positive attitude among communities to the protection of their local ecosystems.
Goals include supporting local livelihoods by protecting species, securing ecosystem services, promoting resilience, and fostering the equitable use of natural resources through community-led conservation and education initiatives. Key activities include upskilling BirdLife South Africa community bird guides, training environmental monitors/education officers, and investing in school and community education projects.
South African Wildlife College ("SAWC")
SAWC conducts nature conservation training that covers the full spectrum of skills needed in the conservation industry. The practical hands-on training focuses on providing courses that will open up career opportunities for people already employed in the conservation sector and for those seeking to enter the sector. The courses are also designed to help transform the biodiversity economy of the region and develop Southern Africa's existing protected area network and broader trans-frontier conservation areas.
In the reporting period, the Foundation contributed to funding the following:
- three students for the Foundational learning competency certificate;
- one student for Field Ranger armed training;
- one student for the Conservation Security Officer course;
- one student for the Responsible Resource-use Module; and
- four students received stipends in the workplace.
Project 80 trees
The Group's Chairman, Mr Giovanni Ravazzotti, is passionate about conservation and personally involved in many of the Group's conservation projects. In celebration of his 80th birthday in 2023, the Foundation planted 80 trees in the following areas:
- 40 trees at the TopT Sports Field in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga;
- 15 trees at the CTM Sports Field in Soweto, Gauteng;
- 10 trees at the CTM Sports Field in Thohoyandou, Limpopo;
- 10 trees at Athlolang Primary School in Kagiso; and
- Five trees at the Steelpark Sports Field in Vereeniging.
Other ad hoc donations
Donation to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital
The Foundation contributed to the implementation of a healthcare technology platform, Epione.net, designed and developed to create a seamless flow of patients across the healthcare value chain by connecting all stakeholders. The platform was implemented in June 2023 and aims to reduce administrative challenges faced by the hospital staff when executing their duties.
We are privileged to work with partners who are passionate about enhancing the lives of disadvantaged South Africans and conserving the natural environment. We would like to thank and pay tribute to them for their continued dedication to making our country a better place for its people, fauna and flora.
GROUP CSI AND FOUNDATION SPEND FOR THE 2023 FINANCIAL YEAR
|Total spend including donations, grants and loans||R141,6 million|
|Percentage of spend in South Africa||100%|
|Education and bursaries (excluding B-BBEE skills development)||13,3|
|Environment and conservation||3,5|
|Other CSI initiatives||3,3|
|B-BBEE skills development (excluding employees)||55,1|
|Supplier and enterprise development grants to black-owned entities||4,1|
|Supplier and enterprise development loans to black-owned entities||56,4|