Shawn Theunissen, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Growthpoint Properties, with Norbert Sasse, CEO of Growthpoint Properties
Taking its impact from a symbolic 67 minutes of volunteerism on a single day to a sustainable year-round movement for good, Growthpoint Properties has committed to give 6,700 hours of staff volunteerism over the next year, for Nelson Mandela International Day.
Mandela Day is celebrated around the world on the birthday of Nelson Mandela, 18 July, to honour his life and legacy. It has become a global movement to change the world for the better.
Shawn Theunissen, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Growthpoint Properties, explains: “When setting ourselves the challenge of making a meaningful impact on Nelson Mandela Day, we also took a long, hard look at what staff volunteerism and community engagement really means for us. We started with the 67 minutes of Mandela Day and thought of it as a yearlong initiative for all staff members. This has given Growthpoint’s community engagement a new perspective altogether.”
To achieve its target of 6,700 hours of volunteerism, Growthpoint launched its newest community engagement initiative for staff. Called Gsquared – derived from Growthpoint Gives or G2 – it is action-oriented toward community welfare. The Gsquared programme will be active from Growthpoint’s three regional offices in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town.
The 6,700 hours is a target for everyone in the company to work towards together over Growthpoint’s current financial year, which ends on 30 June 2016.
It is no small task. Essentially, each of Growthpoint’s 676 staff members will be enabled to spend eight-hours towards a planned community engagement. Growthpoint’s CSR team and its business units will be on hand to support its staff by providing opportunities to volunteer at various charities.
Already, there are several projects on the cards. Better SA will facilitate a number of activities for Growthpoint, including making sleeping bags, refurbishing school and charity facilities, and spending time joining in educational games at schools.
Norbert Sasse, CEO of Growthpoint Properties, says: “We’re making this commitment because we care about the welfare of the communities where our staff live and where our business has an impact. Through Gsquared and our commitment of 6,700 hours of staff volunteerism for Mandela Day, we are empowering the people of Growthpoint to lead by example and be agents of positive change in their own communities, all year round.”
Growthpoint is a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company with combined assets valued at nearly R100 billion. As South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT, Growthpoint owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 477 properties in South Africa, 51 properties in Australia through its investment in Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.