African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Defining corporate social responsibility in the South African agricultural sector

E. M. Kloppers
  • E. M. Kloppers
  • School of Communication Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
L. M. Fourie
  • L. M. Fourie
  • School of Communication Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 20 March 2012
  •  Accepted: 15 October 2013
  •  Published: 10 November 2014

Abstract

Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an established research field worldwide, to date there is no single definition that is universally accepted. For this article, generally accepted models, principles and definitions regarding CSR were combined with the view of the South African government on CSR in order to propose a number of normative criteria for CSR in South Africa.  The agricultural sector in South Africa has a specific sector charter called AgriBEE that guides their CSR activities. A comparison of the above-mentioned criteria with the AgriBEE indicator for Corporate Social Investment (CSI) indicates that agricultural organisations will not live up to these theoretical criteria should they continue to adhere to AgriBEE CSI, since there is a discrepancy between what is expected from companies as part of CSI in AgriBEE and the normative criteria for CSR. On the other hand, the AgriBEE indicator for enterprise development (the indicator focused on an agricultural organisation’s assistance to emerging black farmers) has much in common with the set normative CSR criteria. Through the case study of a company from the agricultural sector, it is concluded that although Senwes terms their approach enterprise development, the company applies the proposed normative criteria for CSR through their enterprise development activities.

 

Key words: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate social investment (CSI), governance, AgriBEE, land reform, Senwes, enterprise development.