Health: Overview of CSI Spend

The health sector was supported by 54% of companies and received an average of 8% of CSI expenditure in 2021.

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  • Primary healthcare at 71% once again received the largest portion of CSI healthcare spend, slightly down from 77% in 2020.

  • The average spend allocated to secondary healthcare was unchanged at 15%.

  • Tertiary healthcare received an average of 11%, similar to previous years.

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  • In 2021, CSI expenditure on healthcare was focused on Covid-19-related interventions, with 39% of CSI healthcare spend being more than double the average spend on Covid-19 in 2020 (18%).

  • Average spend declined for all other categories. The smallest decline was for healthcare education, training, and capacity building – the second-largest spend category at 17% of healthcare in 2021 – while the largest was for HIV/Aids-related initiatives, for which spend declined from 22% to 10% and infrastructure, which saw a decline from 19% to 8%.



Corporate support for the national vaccination programme

Vaccinating a nation of more than 60 million people was always going to be a challenge. Acquiring the vaccine was the first hurdle to overcome, followed by rollout.

Business for South Africa (B4SA), an alliance of volunteers from the private sector, began collaborating with the South African Government and other social partners to acquire vaccines as early as December 2020. Government decided at the outset that it will be the sole procurer of vaccines as they are a national good that must be made available to all citizens for free.

Government thus provided the funds for the acquisition of the vaccines, with support from B4SA in negotiating with suppliers, although such support was only utilised towards the middle of 2021. This process was used with suppliers that fell outside of the agreement the government has with the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) facility. Corporates also made contributions to the Solidarity Fund, and monies were used for transportation and storage of the vaccines as well as other vaccination-related costs.

Vaccination was rolled out according to the government’s Vaccine Rollout Strategy. Phase 1 focused on healthcare workers and those it deemed to be frontline workers, while Phase 2 focused on age-based prioritisation – people over 60 were vaccinated from 17 May onwards, people over 50 from 1 July onwards, people over 35 from 1 August onwards, and people from 12–17 years from 20 October. As of mid-November 2021, 13 million people were fully vaccinated (22% of the population) and over 23 million doses had been administered.

The private sector engaged with government from the outset, to allow private-sector vaccination sites to be accredited to administer vaccines to their employees and communities around such sites. There was no disagreement between government and the private sector on this, but the process was lengthy and it took time before sites could be accredited.

A decision was taken very soon after starting the rollout that government would reimburse private-sector sites for vaccinating public- sector citizens that did not have medical aid. It took a while to process this, but once it was resolved members of the public could be vaccinated at any site convenient to them. By early August 2021, 85 private sites had joined the public sites. Once supply issues were sorted, they had the capacity to together vaccinate around 380 000 people a day.

Anglo American contributed R150 million to the Solidarity Fund and administered vaccinations to its more than 45 000 employees, their families, and host communities. Sibanye-Stillwater, which set aside R200 million to vaccinate its entire workforce and their families, used its 44 clinics and healthcare facilities to administer them in June.

The critical issue government and the private sector have had to address since then is being able to generate demand from all sectors of society. Dr Simon Strachan, Prof. Morgan Chetty, and Dr Sham Moodley, who co-lead B4SA’s Health Service Providers Workstream, called on all healthcare providers to encourage patients to present themselves for the Covid-19 vaccinations and to do everything in their power to counter misinformation and scare-mongering with evidence. B4SA also indicated that South Africa needs a combination of mandatory vaccine policies and incentives for the country to meet its national vaccine target by December 2021.


Source details: Trialogue Business in Society Handbook 2021