At Sea Harvest, we don’t just care about the environment that provides us with the incredible resources we need – we also care about our people and local communities. Almost 20 years ago, Sea Harvest established the Sea Harvest Foundation with the aim of contributing to positive social change within Saldanha Bay and surrounding communities. Sea Harvest has, subsequently, become an integral part of the West Coast and Saldanha Bay Municipality (SBM).
To date, millions of rands have been invested in projects through partnerships with government and non-profit organisations within the spheres of education, health, sports development, community development and business development. Through the Sea Harvest Foundation, the company is able to support a number of Corporate Social Investment programmes thus allowing us to uplift and care for our fellow South Africans.
Of huge importance to the Foundation is its support in developing various organisations in the community in which Sea Harvest operates. One such organisation in the local community in Saldanha that has received regular support from the Foundation, is Siyabonga Care Village. The organisation provides medical and disability care to elderly and handicapped people. When Siyabonga decided to implement an income generating programme for their Sisonke Protective Workshop, they approached a company involved in aquaculture with a proposal to manufacture ropes for their mussel farm. Sea Harvest then agreed to provide Siyabonga with trawling nets that are no longer used. Had Sea Harvest not provided the nets, Siyabonga’s project would not have been financially viable. Sea Harvest is also currently constructing Grade R and pre-school facilities on the premises of the Diazville Primary School with the help of the Department of Education. The facility will be utilised to support the early development needs of Sea Harvest employees’ children, as well as children within the wider community.
Aside from learnerships and internships offered by the company, the Sea Harvest Foundation, provides financial assistance to hundreds of students from the West Coast in the form of bursaries. In 2016 alone, a total of 23 students in various fields of study, including Medical Laboratory Science, Industrial Psychology, Bio-kinetics, Electrical Engineering, Education, Finance, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Musical Theatre received bursaries. The varied fields of study ensures that we develop youth who are employable not only by Sea Harvest but within the broader South African economy. More than 80% of the students from the SBM and West Coast region who have received Sea Harvest Foundation bursaries are black and coloured females.
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Since 2012, six social workers have been permanently based at the Sea Harvest Social Development Office on Saldanha’s Main Road. Five satellite offices have since opened in the area, further extending the reach of the social workers. An on-site clinic on the company’s premises, together with family enrichment programmes and substance abuse support groups, among others, form part of the company’s efforts to promote employee wellness. Between 2013 and 2016, more than 1,500 members of the community received assistance at our Social Development Office.
The Sea Harvest Kids for Kids initiative entails the donation of a portion of the profits made from the sales of selected Sea Harvest kids products to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust. Between November 2010 and February 2016, Sea Harvest raised almost R2 million in aid of the Children’s Hospital Trust, the fund-raising arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. The funds have been given towards an upgraded intensive care unit at the hospital.
Twenty-four schools with historically disadvantaged students, as well as a number of local sports clubs, receive our help in the form of sports equipment, uniforms and financial aid. Sea Harvest is also a major sponsor of the South African Fish Factory Sports Tournament, which has been held annually for the last 24 years in Velddrift.
Sea Harvest’s operations has been a catalyst for the creation of other successful businesses and this continues to be the case with about 75% of the company’s expenditure being with level 1 and 4 suppliers within the SBM. Stated differently, Sea Harvest’s business operations support approximately 170 local suppliers and 15 local buyers. We have, furthermore, partnered with the West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC) to offer financial contributions and support for initiatives such as the establishment of a Procurement Forum in 2011 aimed at maximising the potential procurement opportunities for local companies in the SBM. In 2016, a Memorandum of Association (MoA) was also signed with the West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC) whereby Sea Harvest committed to investing R250 000 to promote economic growth by way of Enterprise Development on the West Coast.