Sustainable social investment continues to play an essential role in the country’s development and transformation.

Social investment in South Africa has been a critical tool for addressing past inequalities and injustices, with the objective of building a more inclusive and equitable society.

Tshikululu Social Investments, established in 1998 through the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, the De Beers Fund, and the AngloGold Fund, is a social investment fund manager and advisor, working alongside investors and other development partners to maximise the power of social investment.

Fast forward 25 years, and Tshikululu is now South Africa’s leading social investment fund manager and advisor. Their clients consist of an array of industry giants, with over 28 social investment fund management clients and a management portfolio of over R 800 million in social investment across numerous sectors.

“When we started off on the 1 July 1998, we were really excited to be developing a new model for outsourcing corporate social investment, a first of its kind in South Africa,” says Tshikululu CEO Tracey Henry, who has been with the company since inception and has fulfilled the role of CEO since 2008.

Tshikululu has since expanded its value proposition to align with the changing environment in which its social partners now operate and have shifted its focus on how sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has increasingly become important within the social investment space. This includes frameworks and pillars surrounding Just Transition, the Green Economy, and social and governance agendas that today have become a priority globally. “We are really excited to be working with a number of our partners to help them develop and bed down ESG frameworks as part of their business imperatives,” Henry says.

Chairperson of Tshikululu, Godfrey Gomwe, describes the strategic change within the organization, citing the importance of expanding their services to accommodate the changing needs of their clients.

“We have intentionally concentrated on expanding from purely providing traditional social investment fund management services, to a much broader field of sustainability advisory, supporting our clients to develop strategies that are aligned to their overall business objectives and to strengthen their response to the environmental, social and governance issues facing their particular industry and communities.”

The last few years have seen some significant milestones within the company’s more recent history, such as partnering with the Solidarity Fund on several urgent humanitarian interventions during and post the pandemic and assisting civil society organisations to facilitate support caused by recent devasting events, such as the 2022 floods that took place. While rapid response in these challenging times has been needed, longer term sustainability factors have also been top of mind.

A notable milestone for the organization is its involvement in the fight against genderbased violence, characterised as South Africa’s “second pandemic”. The Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund1, which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2021, approached and partnered with Tshikululu to provide comprehensive programme management, as well as monitoring and reporting support services to the fund.

“It is a real privilege to work with the best-in-class social impact specialists in the country. Everybody plays an incredible role in making our work possible and to ensure that we can maximise the power of social investment achieve impact and ultimately, a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” Henry says.