This chapter will discuss historical contexts and contemporary issues in Corporate Social Responsibility in South Africa. Here, the private sector has been forced to adopt socially responsible policies that are more advanced than those in many of the richer economies; spending in Corporate Social Investment (CSI) far exceeds that of wealthier countries. This is due to the adoption of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation, the set of affirmative action policies adopted by the post-apartheid government to give historically disadvantaged groups economic opportunity. Relationships between business and society in South Africa are thus significantly shaped by the country's divided history of colonialism and apartheid, as well as by its present developmental challenges. Indeed, given that big business was one of the main beneficiaries of the Apartheid regime, it was ironically apartheid and the social unrest that it brought about that first stimulated corporate social responsibility practices in the country. Today, any South African company's performance is rated on a number of BEE scorecards, with companies collecting points for Corporate Social Responsibility. Although corporate involvement in development is usually portrayed as diametrically opposed to the state's involvement, the South Africa government has a very active role in defining and motivating CSR. At the same time, CSR funding is becoming ever more vital for the non-profit sector, with NGOs receiving an average of 20 % of their income from corporations. Moreover, CSI spending in 2012 by the top 200 South African companies alone amounted to a total of R7 billion, of which over a third was channelled through non-profit organisations. These complex intersectoral relationships under the banner of CSR have led to a maturing and professionalisation of companies' CSR strategies and practices in recent years, which this chapter will outline with reference to recent scholarship and to original research by the author.
MUELLER-HIRTH, N. 2016. Corporate social responsibility and development in South Africa: socio-economic contexts and contemporary issues. In Vertigans, S., Idowu, S.O. and Schmidpeter, R. (eds.) Corporate social responsibility in sub-Saharan Africa: sustainable development in its embryonic form. Cham: Springer [online], pages 51-68. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26668-8_3