As followers of social media may be aware, when the Bela-Bela SUPERSPAR in Warmbaths burned down in September, the owner decided to keep the 150 staff there busy with community projects rather than laying them off during the rebuild. So far, they’ve contributed 30,000 hours on projects which include building churches, tidying up a library, planting veggie gardens, refurbishing hospitals and cleaning schools. Further than this, there’s not too much detail – although it appears from the posts that the various projects were handled by different teams from within the store – so Team Fish and Chips, for example, were responsible for the work on the Mmampathile Public Primary Library – which must also be good for morale both now and when the doors reopen.
Comment: One of those stories which makes us proud to be South African, and demonstrates what a truly humane business model can look like. Says Maryla Masojada, MD of Trade Intelligence, “Steinhoff, zuptagate with KPMG, McKinsey and Bell Pottinger, are the rock-bottom, the antithesis of what we as South Africans and us FMCG’ers, want and need. This story is another reminder that each of us, every day, can influence where we are headed as a country; what doing good business and what the much spoken about “community-based retailing” actually means. It’s this, retailers truly integrating and responding to their local community’s reality – and sticking to the values and principles that count. These are the only way to sustainable business, healthy, employed shoppers and future profits.”