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Languages: English
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This dissertation examines the extent to which CSR contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within the banking sector in South Africa (SA).The institutions in SA were historically plagued with numerous injustices to the black population which were attributable to the adoption of apartheid. This contributed to and resulted in major inequalities in various sectors including education, economic status, skills set, leadership and so on. Remarkably, following the post-apartheid area, the government of SA has been a forerunnerin advocating for change and attempting to redress the injustices of the apartheid regime. It has done soby enacting legislation and industry wide charters to provide guidance on how business should relate to socio-economic issues. However, CSR in SA has continued to be viewed with suspicion because it is those very firms implementing CSR initiatives which were involved in the atrocities of the past. While the global agenda more often than not dictates the local agenda, CSR in SA has taken its own shape and continually developstorecognize issues of national and local concern to SA. CSR and the business fraternity have therefore begun to emerge as development agents because they address socio-economic issues of concern to the government and to the people at large. Despite the progress made in attempting to use CSR to contribute to development, a number of limitations arise in this regard.This dissertation takes a look at a few banks in SA in order to identify the progress made so far and the limitations of using CSR to try and achieve the MDGs. Considering that their priorities are not only to contribute to MDGs but also to cultivate shareholder value these banks have clearly demonstrated the link between their CSR activities and core business which eventually contribute to the achievement of MDGs. Going forward, it can be concluded that the banks in SAexhibit commitment to contributing to the government’s development agenda while still adhering to international standards through membership of the UNGC and Equator Principles. They have largely engaged in partnerships with various actors from NGOs, donors and arms of government.
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