2022 Sappi Southern Africa
Corporate Citizenship Report

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No Poverty

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18.2 million people living in extreme poverty

The challenge

According to Statistics South Africa1, in 2022, of South Africa’s population of approximately 60 million, around 18.2 million people are living in extreme poverty.

upskilling people

The opportunity

By supporting those in need and upskilling people to become entrepreneurs, we are stimulating the local economy, helping to alleviate poverty and helping to achieve Sappi’s vision of a thriving world.


The stakeholders

Communities and individuals close to our operating areas, Sappi.

587 jobs sustained
Over ZAR 245 million spent with SMEs

The roadmap

In 2018, we launched a focused ESD strategy and established a dedicated ESD unit tasked with helping to incorporate SMEs into the mainstream economy. In FY2022, we spent over ZAR245 million with SMEs, exceeding our annual target by ZAR133 million. In the process, 587 jobs were sustained.

We also make significant community investment, increasing spend 13% year-on-year to ZAR54 million.

217,339 tons of timber worth ZAR 184 million through Sappi Khulisa

Our actions

  • Our most significant ESD initiative through which we strengthen participation in the forestry value chain is Sappi Khulisa. Encompassing individual and community tree farming, the total area managed currently is 37,028 ha. In 2022, under this programme, 217,339 tons of timber worth some ZAR184 million was delivered to our operations. Currently, the value chain extends from 4,143 growers to approximately 871 small, medium and micro enterprises which are involved in silviculture, harvesting, loading and short and long-haul activities.

  • The SMEs we supported in FY2022 supplied the following services:

    - Alien invasive plant management
    - Civil work
    - Forestry-related services (silviculture, harvesting, building maintenance)
    - Logistics and transportation
    - Road maintenance and repair
    - Mechanical work
    - Maintenance
    - Plumbing and electrical
    - Waste paper recycling through ReFibre
    - Waste management (separation, collection and disposal)

    Non-financial indicators

      Jobs created
    200 206
      Jobs sustained
    700 768
      Enterprise development
    45 54
      Supplier developement
    12 15
      ESD graduation
    3 5
  • In last year’s Corporate Citizenship Report, we discussed Best Wood Furniture (Pty) Ltd and Amadansana Workwear (pages 26 – 27). After completing training sponsored by Sappi’s ESD team, Best Wood is now independent. Amadansana is supplying Sappi Forests with customised overalls and will be an independent registered business after year end. To ensure a smooth transition we are sponsoring a supervisor for the business.
  • Our ESD department is supervising Bobedi Workwear at Ngodwana Mill. This business is owned by three women making reflective vests, shirts and forestry aprons.
  • At Saiccor Mill the catering contract at the Skills Centre was awarded to one of our alumni who was trained to run her own business.
  • We continue to support the Abashintshi youth programme, now being run in-house. The programme mobilises youth to create open channels of communication between communities and Sappi and trains them to mobilise their communities to develop themselves in line with the asset-based community development model. We will be recalibrating the programme in FY2023.
  • We operated 13 incubation initiatives in collaboration with contractors whereby SMEs were sub-contracted to perform services including scaffolding, civil works and piping, mechanical engineering works, harvesting, etc. A total of ZAR30 million was paid to SMEs by contractors for rendering such services. In addition, contractors have spent about ZAR598,000 to train SMEs and local community members.
  • We are also funding the membership of 10 of our incumbent SMEs to the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) which offers training, development support, networking and market expansion opportunities to these SMEs. The SMEs are continuing to benefit from the DCCI’s networking sessions and training programme for skills enhancement and access to business opportunities outside Sappi.

At Ngodwana Mill we are involved in an aquaponics project whereby we will breed and grow Tilapia Rendalli fish for local sales. We will also grow vegetables for local sales such as swiss chard, tomatoes and kale. In our processing kitchen, we have made macadamia pesto and will soon be starting with marmalade made from our own citrus trees.

Supporting communities in times of need

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Managing alien invasive plant species

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Profiling our remarkable suppliers: Nhlanhla Phoswa

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Providing pollination services and income

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