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South Africa


A force for good

We’re committed to promoting social and economic development through our core business of banking

Our Approach

For over 150 years we’ve provided banking services that help people and companies to succeed, creating wealth, jobs and growth across some of the world’s most dynamic regions.

We are committed to promoting economic and social development in the markets we serve, doing so sustainably and equitably in line with our purpose and three valued behaviours: ‘Never settle’, ‘Better together’ and ‘Do the right thing’. 

This sustainability philosophy sets out how we integrate sustainability into our organisational decision-making.

Growth in our markets is leading to rapid urbanisation and creating increased need for infrastructure and technology. We believe finance plays a key role in meeting these needs. It enables individuals to build a positive future or themselves and their families, businesses to thrive and grow, and governments to deliver economic prosperity for the wider community.

Supporting sustainable and responsible growth, including delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’), represents a significant opportunity us. In pursuing this opportunity, we are guided by our brand promise, Here for good

South Africa Community Investments

Helping communities thrive – we work with local partners and employee volunteers to deliver programmes focused on health and education.

Human, Person, Sport

Unleashing the economic potential of adolescent girls

We know that investing in girls can result in an incredible multiplier effect on communities and societies.

Goal, our young girls’ empowerment is our flagship programme under Futuremakers which aims to tackle inequality by equipping  adolescent girls with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to be economic leaders in their families and communities. Since its launch in 2006, Goal has grown to become an internationally-recognised global movement operating in more than 20 countries. Through sport and activity-based learning, Goal delivers modules on financial education; communication skills; health and hygiene; and self-confidence. Between 2006 and 2019, Goal reached more than 590,000 young women. Our target is to reach one million girls by 2023.

In South Africa, Goal was launched in Tshwane (Pretoria) and Soweto (Johannesburg) in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Since its launch, the programme has reached nearly 14,000 girls in total.

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Person, Human, Accessories

Creating a world free from avoidable blindness

Avoidable blindness is a key health issue across our markets. Globally, there are an estimated 36 million blind people and a further 217 million people suffering from moderate or severe visual impairment. Incredibly, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. In 2003, to celebrate the Bank’s 150th anniversary, our employees committed to raise enough money for 28,000 sight-restoring surgeries – one for every employee at the time. Their commitment grew into Seeing is Believing (SiB), our global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

SiB provides access to affordable and quality eye health services to people in low- and middle-income countries. SiB reached more than 212 million people through medical interventions, eye examinations, and eye health education and training between 2003 and 2019.

In South Africa, we have delivered support to more than 1.5 million people and our initiatives have contributed nearly USD2 million to various projects in partnership with our local sight NGO and provincial departments of health in the country.

We are delivering SiB projects until the end of 2020 and building on SiB’s legacy through our support for the Vision Catalyst Fund, a proposed $1 billion global eye-care fund. Our support for people with visual impairments continues through Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, our global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion.