The Sabinet Chairperson's Fund was established in 2003 as a way to ensure that the social responsibility initiatives undertaken by Sabinet achieved their primary objectives, remained impactful and delivered long-term tangible results.

To this end, at least 10% of Sabinet's pre-tax profit is donated annually to the Chairperson's Fund.

The mission of the Chairperson's Fund is to contribute to the educational, social and economic upliftment as well as the development of deserving communities in South Africa. Sabinet strives to undertake projects where a sustainable and discernable difference can be made and in order to achieve success, we partner with other successful organisations.

In 2010, the Chairperson’s Fund started an initiative called Regional Projects where we invited libraries from the Gauteng province to submit proposals for funding. We later realised that the needs of the country’s libraries were far-reaching and decided to extend the projects to the entire country. Annually libraries across South Africa are invited to submit proposals for funding for community-based projects run within the community libraries.

There is a strict set of criteria that the proposals must adhere to in order to be awarded funding. The funding must be community-based, make a measurable difference to the community and must be able to stand alone (i.e. the funding cannot be used for an existing or larger project).

This year, we extended the regional projects funding to include projects that endeavour to improve library infrastructure through the supply of ICT equipment or services to community libraries in South Africa.

Over the course of this initiative we have learnt of the many challenges that face South African libraries, be it in urban areas or rural ones. Taking these challenges into consideration we have decided to increase the funding amount to R30 000 for each regional project awarded, as well as increase the number of projects awarded for the 2015 financial year.

Every year Sabinet receives many entries of a very high calibre, and this year the Sabinet Chairperson's Fund awarded funding to the following projects:

City of Cape Town Library, based in the Western Cape plans to use the funds for their Information Literacy Programme which aims to equip Grade 6 learners with lifelong information skills through the use of comic books.

Lintle Community Library, based in Gauteng will continue to support the activities of their Sunshine Team Project.

Ocean View Library, based in the Western Cape will purchase educational toys for the children visiting the library, which will aid in the development of various skills such as motor and concentration skills before they have to start preschool.

Takalani Children’s Home, based in Nzhelele in Limpopo plans to further develop its library so as to provide a strong literacy foundation for the children in the community and improve their academic performance.

The Embassy, based in Durban will utilise their funds to provide an educational, recreational and learning “homework” centre for the youth and children of Bonela.

Thulamela Public Library, based in Limpopo will improve the quality of the lives of blind or visually impaired people through enhanced access to library and information services.

“Congratulations to everyone that submitted a proposal for consideration this year. It is truly rewarding for Sabinet to contribute to the libraries in the various communities in our country”, commented Rosalind Hattingh, MD of Sabinet. “We wish all the fund recipients the best of luck in their endeavours and hope this type of funding encourages them to continue with the excellent work. We also want to encourage other libraries in the country to submit their proposals for consideration when the request is sent out” she concluded.

Over the last five years Sabinet has awarded funding to close to 20 libraries, totaling over R400 000 as part of the Regional Projects initiative.

Published: Centurion, 23 April 2015