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Corporate Social Responsibility and Socio-Economic Development

Updated: 1 June 2022

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Introduction to the Policy Statement

The JVR Africa Group of Companies are responsible corporate citizens that believe in Corporate Social Responsibility and the empowerment, development, and growth of a diversity of people and cultures, in our business, the industries that we do business with, and the communities we live in. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Socio-Economic Development (SED) form key components of the JVR Group’s ethical and sustainable business strategy and regular ond ongoing training is done within JVR to ensure the corporate entrenchment of these principles and values.

Given that JVR works nationally and internationally, this policy statement refers both to national and international criteria for compliance.

JVR and Corporate Social Responsibility

The principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) underline the need for all organisations, including JVR to pursue social objectives in addition to their responsibility of growing the business, increasing profits, ensuring financial sustainability, paying taxes, providing employment opportunities, and sustaining the environment.

The diversity of people employed by JVR, the diversity of the organisations we serve, and the diversity of communities and cultures that exist in Southern Africa, underline the reasons why adopting the principles of corporate social responsibility are non-negotiable. As a Group of companies who employ psychologists, we also stand for ensuring that human potential should be identified and developed, a workplace environment created that provides psychological safety, and in general, no harm be done to employees. This principle is also extensively dealt with in the highly respected King IV guidelines, which JVR diligently adheres to.

In addition to economic responsibilities, international CSR objectives also include philanthropic responsibilities such as caring for the environment, promoting volunteerism among company employees, donating to charity, as well as promoting ethical behaviour. Understanding and participating in the specific social contexts in which business is done has to be reflected in the JVR business values, purpose, passion, and mindset.

The JVR Group of companies has a well formulated set of values and a clear business purpose that in essence refers to placing people central in all business activities. In addition, JVR actively contributes to human and social upliftment programmes in numerous ways. Examples include monetary, non-monetary, and resource contributions such as the following:

Diversity Workshops and Facilitated Events

Diversity workshops and learning events are regularly scheduled for employees of JVR. This is also an important topic that JVR is consulted on and that we provide as facilitated learning opportunities.

Volunteering

JVR employees participate in voluntary events such as career counselling for disadvantaged students, donating 67 minutes on Mandela Day, donating blood, collecting food or clothing for those who are disadvantaged, assisting with infrastructure maintenance at schools and crèches. Employees are encouraged to become involved in volunteering initiatives given the vast need for these activities in South- and Southern Africa.

Philanthropy

Regular and generous donations are made to child, old age-, and animal welfare organisations. Bursaries, sponsored learnerships, and internships are provided to previously disadvantaged young people to study- or gain experience in the fields of their competence, experience, and interest.

Environmental

JVR actively supports recycling, a paperless office- and home environment, and the use of green, specifically solar energy. The regular presentations to the JVR companies by a dedicated JVR environmentally focused group allows for a continuous awareness of environmental realities among staff and a clear understanding of the role of each employee and the companies in mitigating the risk of global warming and promoting the protection and sustainability of the natural environment. There is transparency in how JVR views the importance of the environment, how we take responsibility, and implement problem-solving strategies.

Labour Practices

JVR complies to a firmly formulated set of values that includes how employees, clients, and any other stakeholders are interacted with and managed. Values such as “people matter”, “do what is right”, and “commitment to client success” illustrate the importance of both the quality of relationships, integrity, and the importance of appreciating diversity. All employees have access to the JVR HR (Human Resources) and other policies, they attend regular scrum meetings on these and related topics. The JVR employees also understand the consequences and possible disciplinary action that will follow non-compliance. Additional opportunities are provided to ensure the mental health and well-being of staff. Fair treatment of all employees as well as conduct that ensures civility and professionality create a safe and healthy work environment.

Human Rights

JVR respects all human rights, specifically as is detailed in the South African Constitution but also as is formulated in numerous international constitutions. JVR prides itself on a workforce that includes different genders, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientations. These employees are valued for their competence and not discriminated against for any reason. In addition, JVR is a female-dominated work environment where many employees, including the owners and the JVR leadership, are women.

Governance

The JVR Group of companies prides us on the quality of our corporate governance. It includes a strong set of values, compliance with legislation, and a drive for best practice reflected in all aspects of the business. This is reinforced with a wide range of Corporate-, Board-, HR-, and IT policies, declarations, and operating processes. Annual financial audits, cyber- and all other relevant insurance policies, and regular penetration testing on the JVR technological systems further reinforce the effective, efficient, and proactive management of risk and assurance of governance and compliance.

Consumers

JVR has no business without satisfied and happy clients- clients who trust the products and services provided by JVR. In this regard understanding the needs and circumstances of our clients helps with continuous support, problem-solving-, bespoke-, and best practice solutions. The JVR values also underlie our absolute commitment to ensuring the success and sustainability of our clients.

JVR and Internationally Accepted Standards for Corporate Social Responsibility

The seven (7) key principles of social responsibility, as described in the internationally accepted ISO 26000 are applied by JVR in the following manner:

Accountability

One of the JVR values is formulated as “take ownership, take action”. It refers to the responsibility all JVR employees take for the diversity we value, the science- and evidence work we do, and in general the quality of our all our products and services to clients. We work extremely hard to ensure the scientific evidence and professional integrity of the products and services we source, validate, research, and apply in the work we do. Our contractual and service agreements are managed with diligence and care to ensure alignment and adherence to the stated principles of each document. Our leadership drives a JVR culture of respect, honesty, congruency, and trustworthiness.

Transparency

There must be a fine balance between ensuring confidentiality of certain types of information and remaining transparent. As Processor of personal information for responsible parties, the highest level of confidentiality and security is maintained regarding personal and identifiable information.

There is transparency regarding business goals and achievements, the achievement of strategic and operational goals, as well as the values, business priorities, respect for diversity, social responsibility initiatives, and environmental goals of the companies.

Ethical Behaviour

Ethical behaviour, to do “what is right”, is core to the JVR values and how we go about doing our business. Uncivil, disrespectful, toxic, unethical- and criminal behaviour is heavily sanctioned and will result in a disciplinary procedure and immediate dismissal. Numerous standard operating procedures, systems and business intelligence reports to management and the Board provide checks and balances to ensure early identification of unacceptable behaviour. Feedback from staff members or clients in terms of unacceptable conduct of any JVR employee can be done confidentially and is dealt with by senior management.

Respect for Stakeholder Interests

JVR works with a wide variety of stakeholders and respecting- and actively safeguarding their interests is of foremost importance. Most of these relationships are covered by contractual and service agreements stipulating the roles, responsibilities, goals, and timelines each party must achieve. This is closely adhered to by JVR. Other stakeholder relationships that may not be captured in an agreement are meticulously managed according to the JVR Terms of Business, Policies, Declarations, and values. https://jvrafricagroup.co.za/terms-and-conditions

Respect for the Rule of Law

JVR takes compliance with laws and regulations very seriously. Whether it relates to legislation governing professional groups such as psychologists, accountants, or attorneys, or whether it relates to corporate, consumer, or other legislation like the POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) or GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), JVR strives to follow best practice and ensures compliance. Compliance throughout the JVR Group is supported with regular information sessions and training. The wide variety of JVR policies signed by all employees also supports compliance and clear consequences where there may be non-compliance.

Respect for International Norms and Behaviours

JVR has signed a variety of contracts with international businesses in a wide variety of countries over the last three decades since its establishment. There is a deep respect for cultural- and legislative similarities and differences. This principle is core to all work done both nationally and internationally.

Working in the context of talent development, human resources, organisational development, and psychological consulting makes the recognition of diverse cultures and the diversity of people of particular importance for JVR and forms an important reason for all the validation and normative research we do.

Respect for Human Rights

As companies who specialise in people development, JVR works with heightened sensitivity regarding human rights. Consent is obtained before any assessment or intervention is actioned. Care is also taken to comply with all relevant legislation when contractual work requested from JVR by a client involves sensitive groups such as children and minority- or disadvantaged groups.

Corporate Social Responsibility in the South African Context

In South Africa, the relevance of Corporate Social Responsibility becomes even more important within the context of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act No. 53 of 2003 provides a legislative framework for Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa. The primary purpose of the B-BBEE Act and the associated Codes of Good Practice is to address the legacy of the past and promote the economic participation of Black people in the South African economy.

The B-BBEE Act and the Codes of Good Practice list five elements which contribute towards the B-BBEE scorecard of the enterprise. The way in which an organisation applies B-BBEE initiatives in its business is effectively left for the organisation to decide. In terms of Corporate Social Responsibility, the B-BBEE Act defines this element as Socio-Economic Development (SED).

Socio-Economic Development contributions are monetary or non-monetary contributions initiated and implemented by the organisation with the specific objective of facilitating income generating activities for targeted beneficiaries. The NPAT (net profit after tax) of the organisation determines the target which is set for this element.

JVR is committed to B-BBEE compliance and actively invests in a variety of SED initiatives. Our most recent audited and verified B-BBEE certificate will be available from April 2022 and can be printed from our website or requested from our office at 27 11 781 3705 during office hours.

Governance, Management Roles, and Accountabilities

The Boards of Directors for the respective companies within the JVR Africa Group are responsible for the evaluation, approval, and monitoring of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Socio-Economic Development projects that the companies contribute towards. Progress reports on these initiatives are tabled at the Board meetings of the respective companies within the JVR Africa Group.

In Summary

The JVR Africa Group aims to retain our Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Economic Development values and objectives through not only ensuring the sustainability of our own businesses but, also having a positive impact on the industry, individuals, and the communities around us. Our JVR reputation has always been one of caring for others and supporting people development. We remain committed to doing so.