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CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY                  CORPORATE SOCIAL
                                          INVESTMENT

                                          THE BITOU LIFESAVING PROGRAMME IN PLETTENBERG BAY

ONE OF CEMAIR'S

     KEY OBJECTIVES                       Today, a new                  successfully passed more     the high standards and
              IS TO GIVE                            element of          than 130 youth through       commitment of the
                                                    leadership in the   the Lifesaving South         programme, they have
      YOUNG ADULTS                                  business world      Africa Qualifications        financially supported the
      A PLATFORM TO                       is making a profound          Programme.                   initiative and allowed for
                                          difference. Corporate         One of CemAir’s key          Plett to employ additional
        ACQUIRE BASIC                     social investment (CSI)       objectives is to give        lifeguards and purchase
           WORKPLACE                      is typically associated       young adults a platform      much-needed equipment.
           SKILLS THAT                    with large companies, not     to acquire basic             They also assist with
                                          small businesses. But as      workplace skills that may    funding to other
     MAY EQUIP THEM                       companies of all sizes are    equip them for future job    coastal communities
     FOR FUTURE JOB                       quickly learning, investing   opportunities. With hard     and encourage these
      OPPORTUNITIES.                      in the social upliftment      work and commitment,         communities to operate
                                          of the communities in         the youngsters graduating    their programmes on a
     Above: Spot the CemAir lifeguard     which you operate has         as Bitou Lifesavers do so    similar module.
towers on all of Plett's beaches. Below:  become crucial. Recent        with confidence in their     Over the past nine
                                          business studies point to     abilities and a belief in    years the success of
  A few of the lifeguards at a briefing.  a majority of stakeholders    themselves. The yellow       the programme is self-
                                          agreeing that CSI makes       and red lifeguard shirts     evident; three of the
                                          good business sense           are well recognised in       trained lifeguards have
                                          and is a ‘must do’ while      the community and give       joined the South African
                                          consumers say they            a level of status and        Navy, one the Fire &
                                          are more likely to buy        responsibility to the        Rescue Academy, four
                                          products and services         wearer. Says van der         paramedic services and
                                          from a company if they        Molen, “If we build self-    most recently six have
                                          know it supports good         confidence and lay the       just received notification
                                          causes and gives back to      foundation for just one      they have all been
                                          the people.                   of these lifeguards for a    accepted into a cruise
                                          As a key ingredient in        future career, we will have  ship company as full time
                                          business strategy and         been successful.”            life guards.
                                          execution, CSI is playing     The programme started        The immediate impact on
                                          a central role in helping     in 2004, first as a water-   the local community has
                                          companies to be seen as       proofing initiative for      been extremely positive.
                                          leaders. CemAir has set       children. With little to no  When asked about the
                                          several objectives for their  support, the programme       impact of the opportunity
                                          CSI. According to CemAir      was eventually               to work and travel for six
                                          CFO Laura van der Molen;      terminated. It was           months will have on his
                                          “We have a responsibility     resurrected in 2007 after    family, a recent graduate
                                          because of who we are         Plett ‘imported’ lifeguards  replied; “my parents have
                                          and what we do to take        from Cape Town and Port      never had an opportunity
                                          a lead role in ensuring       Elizabeth. Eventually,       to do anything like this.
                                          visitors to our destinations  teenagers from the Plett     They never thought they
                                          have a safe beach             area were brought into the   would have the resources
                                          experience.” Picking the      programme and trained        to put one of their children
                                          right partner is crucial.     to the highest standards.    in this situation. My
                                          CemAir has selected           More than 150 local youth    parents are so proud, I am
                                          the Bitou Lifesaving          have received training       grateful.”
                                          Programme to be part          and have gained full time    CemAir’s contribution and
                                          of their CSI programme        employment.                  steadfast commitment
                                          for the Plettenberg Bay       During 2012, the             is a great example of
                                          area. The programme’s         programme was                how companies can earn
                                          mission is to train and       recognised by the            respect and leadership
                                          employ local youth from       Western Cape                 status by taking a
                                          all communities in the        Department of                disciplined approach to
                                          area, to become qualified     Environmental Affairs        CSI.
                                          lifeguards to protect         and Tourism. Due to
                                          the beaches. Since its
                                          inception, they have

6 | APRIL / MAY 2016 CEMAIR SKYNEWS
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