An examination of the contribution of corporate social responsibility in a resource extraction industry to social sustainability: a case study of Lafarge Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Ridgeview Quarry.
Corporate social responsibility is increasingly becoming an important component of the business world. With growing scrutiny of commercial operations, businesses are increasingly being driven to satisfy the expectations of society in order to thrive. In essence, businesses adopting corporate social responsibility believe that by operating ethically and responsibly, they have a better opportunity of success. This thesis examines Lafarge Mining South Africa and its Ridgeview Quarry located in Durban, South Africa, in order to assess the contribution to social sustainability of corporate social responsibility practices in the resource extraction industry. Literature used for this research is compiled from concepts such as sustainable development, social sustainability, social justice, public participation, vulnerability and well-being and furthermore evaluates conventional arguments for corporate social responsibility. The methodology used for this research was based on a qualitative approach, where both secondary and primary data were used. The empirical materials needed for this research was collected through in-depth interviews conducted with stakeholders involved within the social upliftment programmes as well as discussions forums. Furthermore, purposive sampling was used for this study, as the study was concerned with individuals involved with the discussion forum and the social responsibility programmes. The thesis investigates the nature of public participation in the discussion forum with respect to social sustainability. With regards to the discussion forum, meetings were held intermittently, on an ad hoc basis, therefore affecting the degree to which total social sustainability was achieved in the decision-making process. However, it was found that when meetings were convened that the discussion forum was inclusive and in no way discouraged any form of participation from the community, hence contributing to some form of social sustainability. The research encompassed aspects of evaluation research, whereby summative evaluation and impact evaluation was used to summarise information and examine the outcomes of the two corporate social responsibility initiatives, namely; the education-related and the skills-related social upliftment programmes. The research evaluated these two programmes, in order to assess the degree to which social sustain ability was achieved. However these initiatives are a small part of the broader corporate social responsibility agenda. The key findings of the research were that social sustainability was very weak. Minimal difficulties were experienced by participants in the education-related social upliftment programme, where one of the challenges was to uplift learners from grassroots level (primary school level). However, with regards to the skills-related social upliftment programme, individuals participating in the project, experienced more difficulties than compared to those participating within the education-related social upliftment programme. Difficulties that arose with regards to the skills-related social upliftment programme were that Lafarge Mining South Africa reneged on certain material promises and showed no interest in monitoring how the programme was facilitated. Furthermore, participation in the programme did not secure any employment opportunities for the women. Thus corporate social responsibility has become a major focus of interest in society. Corporate social responsibility is not just a buzzword for businesses, it has developed into an invaluable tool for exploring ways to reduce and manage social and bio-physical costs, as well as provide many businesses with the opportunity to be successful. However, achieving corporate sustainability is not an easy task and is accompanied by a number of challenges