Socio-economic development

Our investments in socio-economic development (SED) help us create shared value, fulfil our licence conditions, and promote B-BBEE and corporate governance processes. It also empowers and uplifts the communities we operate in, creates cohesion and ensures we are sustainable.


The pass rate in hospitality and consumer studies programmes at our partner schools continues to increase each year
Prioritised our community stakeholder engagement programme
Over 25 schools are being supported through our ‘Adopt a School’ group project nationwide
Invested R25.4 million on SED projects, most of which contributed to Sun International’s prioritised SDGs
Recorded our CSI spend for the first time – R3.6 million invested in CSI initiatives


Increasing the impact made on the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative as part of our integrated sustainability approach

Completed phase 1 of the ‘Adopt a School’ project, focusing on consumer studies and hospitality programmes

Training dedicated SED managers and officers on our community engagement process and compliance audits

Completed stakeholder engagement and audit training of all relevant SED employees

Conducting integrated sustainability cross-unit SED audits at all local units in 2019

Completed integrated sustainability cross-unit SED audits at all local units

Implementing our community stakeholder engagement process and framework across all South African business units

Implemented a community stakeholder engagement methodology to be embedded throughout our South African operations in 2020

Maximising our employee volunteering initiatives

Identified key group initiatives such as Adopt a School, Mandela Day and Sun International’s Literacy campaign that also align with employee volunteering initiatives

Effectively report on all CSI spend

Implemented a system to capture and record CSI spend


SED spend

Sun International’s 1% net profit after tax (NPAT) SED spend for the period under review amounted to R25.4 million (2018: R23.7 million).

Unit 1% NPAT
Actual SPEND
(SED 2019)
Actual SPEND
(SED 2018)
Boardwalk 581 000 580 000
Carousel 6 705 9 940
Carnival City 1 098 000 1 653 300
Flamingo 84 000 103 228
Golden Valley 234 742 213 981
GrandWest 6 201 294 5 746 862
Meropa 775 782 573 782
Sibaya 3 440 590 2 998 971
Sun City 1 485 903 1 333 363
Wild Coast 803 636 849 000
Windmill 494 878 452 348
Table Bay 396 500 439 837
Maslow Time Square 623 498 1 070 670
Maslow 45 000 38 110
Head office 810 000 600 000
SunSlots 8 048 345 7 005 574
SunBet 320 000 5 000
TOTAL 25 449 873 23 673 966

Our SED investment is allocated according to Sun Internationals’ SED project focus areas – education, sports, and arts and culture, with an emphasis on education as depicted below, since education is critical in alleviating poverty and ensuring economic stability. Our focus areas unify the Sun International brand and meet various gaming board licence conditions in different gaming regulatory authorities. We strive to be known for innovative, inspired projects that positively impact our communities and improve their access to the economy. We also recognise the value in developing a sustainable model that connects our social investment to our core business strategy.

SED project focus areas

This excludes SunSlot’s approximate R8 million spend as this will only align with Sun International’s SED project portfolio in 2020

SED project approval governance process

The group follows a robust process for identifying and governing SED approvals. This process ensures that the group makes a positive impact on one of our most vulnerable stakeholders — communities.

sed-diagram-revCOMPLETE unit-specific annual SED project implementation plans including any special projectsSUBMIT project requests to the group SED and community engagement specialist for review and distribution REVIEW AND APPROVE all projects at the Sun International social community development trust (SISCDT) committee meeting. Management representatives from various functions within the group attend the SISCDT meetings to address any questionsSUBMIT SPECIAL PROJECT REQUESTS to the chief executive for review and final approval and/or declinePRESENT final list of approved projects at the sustainability committee meeting for notingCONFIRM project approvals with units and capture all SED projects on IFSMONITOR AND EVALUATE projects on a quarterly basis and provide updates to the SISCDT committee1462537SED PROJECT APPROVAL PROCESS
CSI spend

The group invested in various CSI initiatives — both in-kind monetary and non-monetary — including donations, sponsorships and charitable givings that totalled R3.6 million across our South African units, excluding SunSlots and SunBet. Sun International has contributed to CSI spend since our inception, but we did not record the actual contribution. This is the first year we recorded and reported on our CSI spend at a unit level. We implemented a formal system to track in-kind donations, which are distinguished as donations with and without rand value. In-kind donations with a rand value include the donation of venues, accommodation, show tickets, restaurant vouchers and any other donations that could have been sold. We anticipate a significant increase in this spend as our recording process matures.

CSI is a unit-specific operational expense allocated to projects of interest to the group and its employees. Most of our CSI initiatives are funded by each business unit, and donations received from our guests and partners. Although the gaming boards recognise CSI spend, the B-BBEE Act only recognises the SED spend based on 1% NPAT. These in-kind donations do not form part of the NPAT for calculating the group’s SED spend per the B-BBEE Codes. Our SED projects are allocated to initiatives that facilitate sustainable access to the economy for our beneficiaries and are governed by our SED policy.

Creating shared value

Our social capital is accumulated through the contributions of our units and group initiatives that are close to the heart of our communities. Social capital investments ensure our long-term business sustainability by maximising shared value in the communities we operate in. Return on investment is measured by the lasting positive impact and self-sustaining structure of all SED projects. Our employees actively invest their personal time in the social investment projects that resonate with them, from volunteering and mentoring bursary students, to providing business advice and training.

of the SED spend is allocated to group projects
SED initiatives are focused on education, sports and arts and culture projects
is allocated to property-specific projects
Effective stakeholder engagement is critical to the group and continues to receive focus
Creating shared value through our projects
Inspired stages

Since inception in 2016, GrandWest, Golden Valley, Carousel and Meropa have participated in this programme annually. Inspired Stages made significant impact in the lives of learners whose passion is in arts and culture. Approximately 30 of our surrounding communities have benefitted.

Number of learners


2018: 700
2017: 400
Trained and upskilled mentors


2018: 25
2017: 10
Rise Against Hunger

Initiatives such as Mandela Day create opportunities for employee volunteerism. Additionally, this initiative creates opportunities to align with the National Development Plan and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger by the year 2030).

Number of meals packed

>1 100 000

2018: >738 000
2017: >335 000
Rand contribution

1 300 000

2018: 800 000
2017: 600 000
Employee volunteers

2 562

2018: 1 989
2017: 1 500


Community stakeholder engagement is important in building and maintaining transparent relationships in the communities we operate in. Some of our stakeholders include communities and traditional leaders, provincial and national government, NGOs, NPOs, PBOs, foundations, and labour organisations. The group SED and stakeholder engagement specialist, along with the SED professionals at the various units, are responsible for engaging with these stakeholders. This engagement ensures that our relationships with these stakeholders offer shared value and sustainable SED.

In the prior period, the group’s community engagement approach was refreshed to ensure that all our engagement and interventions align with the group’s sustainability strategy and, more broadly, the provincial and national growth and development plans. During 2019, we commenced our stakeholder engagement pilot project with the ‘Big 5’ units (Boardwalk, Carnival City, GrandWest, Sun City and Time Square) all of which have dedicated SED officers. Once rolled-out to all units, this new approach will streamline community engagement and help us prioritise our interventions to address each community’s collective need.



  • Embedding the community engagement approach across all local units; monitoring, actioning and communicating interventions
  • Ongoing recording, monitoring and analysis of CSI spend; improving online CSI management tracking and analysis
  • Developing a cohesive internal and external public relations communication plan for SED and CSI initiatives
  • Identifying and developing an integrated sustainability management system that incorporates all aspects of SED and CSI to improve data accuracy and reporting processes


The case studies below detail some SED initiatives in education, sports, and arts and culture, where business units are involved.

In 2019, Sun International embarked on an educational programme to integrate sustainable practices at schools on a national level. To date we have adopted 25 schools, where we empower students to engage in responsible learning for global sustainability. Some of these integrated initiatives are discussed below.


ADOPT A SCHOOL: Sun International’s ‘Adopt a School’ programme incorporates various sustainability elements such as social, health and safety, economic and environmental elements.

GrandWest has earmarked specific partner schools to achieve this integration through the various initiatives discussed below. These schools are Muizenberg High School, Zandvliet High School, Hector Peterson High School and Ned Doman High School. GrandWest invested R657 500 across these initiatives in 2019.

Hospitality Learners from Ned Doman enjoy their newly renovated Hospitality classroom

GRANDWEST: Integrating sustainability elements in Sun International’s ‘Adopt a School’ flagship programme

“Thank you GrandWest for helping Zandvliet High School to raise the next generation that is intentional and purpose driven in their enhanced conscious-living lifestyle.”

Sammy Plaatjies, Zandvliet High School Principal

Learners from Muizenberg High attending nature camps hosted by Cape Town Environmental Education Trust

MACASSAR COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP AND ARBOUR DAY: This creates learner and community awareness about sustaining the environment and keeping it clean.

Ward councillors, GrandWest officials and school personnel informed learners about the importance of maintaining a clean environment before the clean-up began. A Spekboom tree planting ceremony was also held in honour of arbour day and as a reminder of the learners’ contribution for the day.

“Saving our environment … one tree at a time” GrandWest SHE Officer Thumeka with learners from Zandvliet planting trees as part of their Arbour Day celebrations

HEAD OFFICE: inspiring literacy among learners who struggle to read with comprehension

“We are grateful to Sun International for this reading initiative you have embarked upon with us. Our country needs companies like yours who are passionate about leaving an indelible legacy in our community.”

PS Makgato, Carter Primary School Principal

In association with Read to Rise, Sun International donated reading corners and books to Carter Primary School, which faces infrastructure and resource challenges. This donation aligns with a reading project spearheaded by concerned parents as learners struggle with reading and comprehension. The initiative also supports South Africa’s nationwide reading challenge as learner challenges with reading grows.

Staff from Sun International Head Office visit Carter Primary School to hand over 21 Classroom Mini-Libraries donated to the school library

MEROPA: Providing financial assistance for hospitality and consumer studies classrooms


Matric pass rate in 2019 improved from

86% to 97%

The consumer studies class learners (38) achieved a

100% pass rate

Khaiso High School topped the school circuit with

22 distinctions

Sun Meropa provided financial assistance (R581 779.45) to renovate and refurbish the learning centres in tourism, hospitality and consumer studies classes as well as enhance the quality of learning and teaching at various schools – Kgwaratlou Secondary School, Gojela High School, Fred Ledwaba High School and Mothimako High School. These renovations, refurbishments, provision of chef jackets and Matric camp, motivated learners and gave them hope in pursuing their goals.

Meropa at the opening of Khaiso High School Consumer Studies Centre

TABLE BAY: 800 pairs of happy school feet

“Table Bay’s initiative has served to place a smile on the faces and joy in the hearts of many a child at Palm Park Primary, enabling them to conform to our uniform and crucially, to present themselves with a greater sense of pride and dignity.”

FJ Meissenheimer, Palm Park Principal

With the high cost of living, high unemployment and various financial pressures, many children in poorer communities go to school barefoot, walking considerable distances over rugged terrain to get to school every day. The Table Bay takes a special interest in Cape Town’s community life and donated 800 pairs of shoes for children from four local schools – Red River Primary, Palm Park Primary, Entshona Primary and Kairos Primary. These schools were nominated by members of hotel staff. Employees also personally decorated the shoeboxes with a special message for each recipient to personalise the gift. The shoeboxes contain a pair of new school shoes and socks. This inspiring project ensured that primary schoolchildren in these poorer communities had brand new shoes for school.

Learners from Red River Primary at the school shoes handover at the Table Bay Hotel

WINDMILL CASINO: Installing solar panels at Petunia Secondary School to save electricity

“This solar system will help us save money to supplement the school’s feedings scheme, which is not sponsored. We are thinking of saving part of the money to revamp the sports fields as sports and technical skills are focus areas for learners who are not academically inclined.”

Maureen Miles, Petunia Secondary School Principal

Petunia Secondary School, with around 1 300 learners, faces many financial and social challenges as 85% of learners cannot afford school fees. It also needs to sustain a vegetable garden that assists with produce for the feeding scheme and contain the high cost of electricity. Windmill partnered with Letsatsi Solar Plant to install solar panels, which will reduce monthly electricity costs thereby enabling the school to continue funding their feeding scheme. This system will ultimately result in the school coming off the grid by the end of 2020. Valued at R241 224, the solar system will be operational for about 20 years and includes an online system to monitor savings. Not only will this project help alleviate the school’s electricity cost burden, it will also have a positive impact on the environment. This project is an excellent example of Sun International’s sustainable project incorporating social, economic and environmental benefits.

Windmill Casino representatives launches the installation of solar panels at Petunia Secondary School


SUN CITY: Multipurpose sport court facility offering soccer, netball, basketball, volleyball and tennis for both abled and disabled community members

Multipurpose sport court can host about five schools, giving access to approximately 3 000 scholars and 4 500 community members who can participate in five different sports

Evidence worldwide shows that deviant social behaviour can be reduced by at least 50% through involvement in sport activities

Between 2010 to 2018, 81 multipurpose sports courts were built in all nine South African provinces

The Sports Trust together with its founding trustees, Sun International, Nedbank and the National Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa embarked on an exciting project at Mphuphuthe Primary School to build a multipurpose sport court. The court is eco-friendly, low maintenance, has a 20-year lifespan and can be used year round. This project aims to provide all children from the community with an opportunity to participate in sport, offer them a healthy alternative to the conditions they live in, thereby counteracting so many social challenges facing children today. This facility will be shared with the surrounding schools and all learners are encouraged to achieve their full potential in their studies and sport.

Mphuphuthe Primary School learners netball team in action testing the newly sports facility

SUNBET AND CARNIVAL CITY: Sponsorship to the Daveyton Festive Soccer and Netball Games creating opportunities for talented but disadvantaged youth

The Pollen Ndlanya Sports Development Foundation was founded by Pollen Ndlanya who played soccer for Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and later went on to play for South Africa’s National Soccer team, Bafana Bafana. After retiring from active football, Pollen wanted to pass on the heritage of sports to the next generations. Since 2000, he coordinated and hosted the Festive Soccer and Netball Games in Daveyton, with the aim of creating opportunities for talented disadvantaged youth. With the assistance of Carnival City, Sun Bet, Ekurhuleni Municipality and the Gauteng Provincial Government, Ndlanya is committed to ensuring that the youth in the area get the opportunity to participate in both soccer and netball where he aims to showcase the level of professionalism demanded by professional sportsmen.

Community of Ekurhuleni Teams participating in the Pollen Festive Games


SUN CITY: Equipping learners with life skills orientation for making future life choices

This biodiversity, arts and culture programme provides learners with critical life skills and joins communities through cultural dance and music. The programme also provides a platform for recreation, leisure and entertainment, which many participants could not afford. Learners are transported to Sun City to participate in a tour that complements the school curriculum in social science and arts and culture. Learners participate in sport activities and are taken on game drives. For some leisure and entertainment activities, the learners enjoy the Valley of Waves. Sun City’s financial support not only embeds a culture of life-long learning and pursuit of career path, it positively impacts the community’s livelihoods and enhances relations between Sun International and its local community.

Learners from Bakubung showcasing their cultural dance at Mphauthuthe primary