Put people first, business will follow

Friday, 20 October, 2017
wineland.co.za, Jana Loots
Philanthropy is a noble pursuit, but truly investing in people takes time, effort and money. The new-look VinPro Foundation is now even better geared to ensure that people excellence remains at the core of a sustainable South African wine industry.

The VinPro Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by the wine industry body VinPro in 2013, boasts a new CEO and board of directors. Their vision? To implement a revised strategy to develop, support and improve the sustainability of the wine industry and its related stakeholders by promoting and backing people excellence.

It makes business sense

Early childhood development, skills and leadership development and harm reduction – these three focus areas of the VinPro Foundation often have an emotional connection. “However, adopt a fresh perspective and you realise that investing in people makes good business sense,” newly elected VinPro Foundation CEO Unathi Mantshongo says. “A healthy, motivated and empowered workforce leads to greater productivity and long-term sustainability.”

The foundation has shifted its focus from appealing to the conscience of suppliers only to a more holistic, industry-driven strategy that’s aligned with the Wise framework and better resonates with businesses’ strategies and B-BBEE requirements.

“When spent on measurable causes, contributions count towards skills, enterprise and socio-economic development,” Unathi says. “The main yardstick for any contribution to count towards your B-BBEE scorecard (socioeconomic development element) is that it must be towards an income generating activity for beneficiaries.”

The foundation has implemented more effective impact-monitoring tools to ensure the best outcomes versus outputs. Bursary holders for instance now have contracts to ensure succession and transformation, and the board has been transformed to incorporate development expertise, gender, youth and racial diversity.

Walking the talk

“The VinPro Foundation’s board is a mix of transformation specialists who are all passionate about people development and those who’ve lived the transformation story,” Unathi says.

Besides Unathi there are two other new board members. Simonsig tasting room manager Denzel Swarts has experience in youth development and Faith Brown, DOCKDA Rural Development Agency director, has a wealth of knowledge in socio-economic upliftment. Board chairperson Sharon February is a VinPro specialist director with extensive involvement in programmes aimed at the sustainable development of the agricultural sector.

To read more online, click here.


VinPro Foundation CEO Unathi Mantshongo (photo: Wineland)
VinPro Foundation CEO Unathi Mantshongo (photo: Wineland)

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