Insights into Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa


  • Itumeleng Judith Maome, Robert Walter Dumisani Zondo


Corporate Social Responsibility, economic development, ethical responsibility, SMEs, South Africa, sustainability


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are recognised around the world for their contribution to a country's social and economic growth. They are the fertile generators of economic growth and development for South Africa. It has been recognised that one of the strategies that contributes to the longevity and success of businesses is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).    Hence, this study provides an insight into the influence of CSR on business growth in South Africa. 

Various scholars assert that CSR is more evident in major corporations with structured CSR strategies.  Such businesses have separate divisions dedicated to CSR initiatives. However, CSR activities in SMEs in South Africa are still sketchy.  They are based on the personal judgement and beliefs of owners and managers.  There is a lack of awareness of the advantages of CSR in SMEs in South Africa.  The lack of top management commitment has also been identified as a barrier to SMEs participating in CSR in South Africa.  Consequently, there is more focus on the application of CSR in big corporations, thus neglecting SME participation in this initiative. 

It has thus been established that CSR remains a development tool that facilitates growth for SMEs in South Africa. Not all CSR activities require businesses to spend millions on such activities.  SMEs may choose projects that are within their economic means.  Hence, CSR awareness campaigns are useful to assist SMEs to make their projects more explicit.