Editor’s Note – CSI Legacy Awards

I was chatting to a friend of mine about the CSI Legacy Awards the other day. He is himself a CSI Manager – for one of the most powerful organisations in South Africa. He was so enthusiastic that he did not realise he was preaching to the converted and he said, ‘You have to realise that there is no other platform like the CSI Legacy Awards in South Africa today.’

The CSI Legacy Awards have the topmost CSI managers judging who is the best in CSI South Africa today. This is a great platform for NGOs to learn if their proposal is moving with the times.’

The Platform

My friend said this because the adjudicators of the CSI Legacy Awards from the corporate world come from –Absa, Clientèle Life, the CSIR, Investec, Momentum Metropolitan, National Lotteries… Including the best fundraisers in the country – Inyathelo, Kaleidoscope Lights, GrowZA and the Zennex Foundation.

The Submissions

I spent the last 2 weeks reading through every single submission of the over 40 plus applications, each around 600 words. At the end of that time, I have to say ‘thank you’ to all these corporates, NGOs, practitioners and activists, who fight for our communities – and the women who are putting women first. It was uplifting to read how these women organisations talked about the important programmes they were working on.

It was interesting to see how our world has moved on since our 2021 submissions. This year, we saw a lot more submissions from woman-based programmes, up there with education and, of course, technology.

The Adjudicators

I have to say that it was a gruelling exercise and I have to thank the adjudicators who took the time to judge this first round. This year they were:

1. Setlogane Manchidi – CSI Head of Investec
2. Madoda Hlongwane – Monitoring and Evaluation at Absa
3. Emily Molakeng – CSI Head for Clientèle Life
4. Craig Kensley – CEO of GrowZA
5. Dr Robyn Whittaker – Collaboration Convener for Kaleidoscope Lights

Thank you, once again, to all the adjudicators.

The Finalists

With that said – the 2023 finalists have been chosen and I am happy to share them with you.


  1. Santam – represented by Neptal Khoza
  2. Kelloggs South Africa – represented by Zandile Mposelwa
  3. AECI – represented by Nicole Solomon
  4. and BEST CEO nominee – Old Mutual Insure – represented by Garth Napier


  1. Women Economic Assembly – represented by Jackie Mpondo-Hendricks
  2. For Good – represented by Rommy Helsinger
  3. Faded Black Innovations – represented by Sonwabo Modimoeng


  1. STEPS, Clubfoot Care – represented by Karen Moss
  2. National Mentorship Movement – represented by Dave Wilson


  1. CHOC, Childhood Cancer Foundation – represented by Lewis Hedley
  2. Burj Alluq luq Social Center Society – represented by Muntaser Edkaidek

Now, these finalists will go through to the next round of judging – judged by a different set of adjudicators – to select the winner in each category.

The Best CEO

This year, we launched a new section – Best CEO. This award goes to a CEO who is socially conscious about giving.

When CSI divisions have a CEO who is passionate about more than just profit, about seeking the social and economic upliftment of communities, magic happens in those CSI divisions. The award will go to a CEO who has gone out of their way to participate in CSI programmes in one way or another. It will also showcase how CEOs integrate and encourage government focus areas in their company goals, driving a thriving economy for all through their workplace policies.

The Recruitment

Let me tell you how the CSI manager friend of mine ended our conversation: ‘You know what?  I have just realised that the CSI Legacy Awards are the perfect platform for me to find what I am looking for. Because the finalists in the categories Best NGO, Best Rising NGO and Best Social Entrepreneur represent the best selection for me. And this could make my life very easy. I realise now that I might not have to go looking and vetting and going through the due diligence process. All I need to do is to view which of the winners from the Awards meets our objectives. Better yet, I can ask you who you could recommend out of those who have not made it.’

The Statistics

Let me boast a little before I close: Since the inception of the awards, we have had over 150 submissions for only 4 categories. To clarify: Although the awards were only launched a year ago, in the last 12 months, we have seen submissions from over 150 companies.

Congratulations to the finalists. And now the real work begins!

Simphiwe Mtetwa
Simphiwe Mtetwa is South Africa’s leading Corporate Social Responsibility news, media and publishing firm. We create content on social responsibility, helping government, corporates, consultants, NPOs and NGOs to reach their target markets through appropriate, targeted development news.

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