SA’s load shedding crisis creates CSR and PR opportunities for brands

By our News Team | 2023

Country’s business sector becoming increasingly involved in activities to mitigate the impact of the electricity emergency on communities.

CSR and PR opportunities can come in many guises and at any time. In South Africa, for instance, the growing load shedding (planned interruption of electricity supply) crisis is seeing the business sector become increasingly involved in activities to mitigate its impact on communities.

Increased traffic congestion in towns and cities due to non-operating traffic signals is one such example of the impact that load shedding is having.

Corporate Social Responsibility

A PR handout photo showing representatives from the various organisations involved in the Sandton traffic intersection project. Investec Group COO, Stuart Spencer, is second from left

In the busy Sandton commercial district, just north of the Johannesburg CBD, the Investec financial services group has announced a collaboration that will see it using its own generators to power two key intersections in the area during load shedding. The intersections are at Grayston Drive and Rivonia Road, and Grayston Drive and West Road South.

Investec thus becomes the first business to partner with the Johannesburg Roads Agency and the Sandton Central Management District on the project. Several other companies are said to be interested in participating – including a bank, a mining house and a telecoms company.

To participate, businesses must have their own backup power and be close to an intersection. The Roads Agency handles the required technical connections.

View this as a CSR initiative

“We view this initiative as corporate social responsibility [CSI] – a minor fraction of what we use at any given time, and it’s not a material cost to our business given how much is required to power an intersection,” said Investec Group COO Stuart Spencer.

Spencer said the group invested R45,000 (US$2,500) to facilitate the connection from their generators to these intersections.

According to the Johannesburg Roads Agency, powering traffic lights at intersections requires 300W-500W of power, which is the equivalent of powering a laptop.

Spencer added that Investec was proud to be the first corporate to become involved in the project and urged other business to participate as well.

“We will share our entire playbook on how other corporates can do this too. Together we can make [an] even bigger impact,” said Investec CMO, Abey Mokgwatsane, in a social media post.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.