Swiss South African Co-operation Initiative (SSACI)

“Masibambisane”, Zulu for “Let’s co-operate” and motto of the Swiss-South African Co-operation Initiative (SSACI), sums up a story of many chapters in one word. The SSACI is the offspring of a partnership between two countries – South Africa and Switzerland. This development agency was jointly initiated by the Swiss Agency for Co-operation and Development (SDC) and Swiss private sector corporations, including Swiss Re, in 2001. All involved parties are committed to working together with the shared goal of promoting the social and economic development of South African youth. The remarkably high success rate already demonstrated by the co-operation speaks volumes about the value of proactive private-public partnerships.

Hitting the ground running

South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. Around 65% of young South Africans aged between 15 and 24 are without work. The SSACI was set up in the face of a double-sided challenge. Employers were reluctant to hire inexperienced staff, and school leavers showed a severe lack of the skills required in the workplace. Against this backcloth, the project’s results to date are excellent. As of July 2009, almost 5,000 youths had enrolled for training on 50 projects. Over 90% of them qualified from the programme and more than 70% went on to obtain quality jobs paying a decent wage. On top of this, within the initiative, 358 new enterprises were started and 458 existing ones received business development support. A total of 1,120 new jobs were created in these enterprises.

Multiple win-wins

The resulting employment and individual entrepreneurship has a far-reaching positive impact. Employment creates stable living conditions, brings the required skills on to the marketplace and generally contributes to harmony and satisfaction in the community. For corporate sponsors like Swiss Re, the project therefore has a meaningful influence on the communities in which they operate. In particular, the SSACI creates recognition under the Black Economic Empowerment Scorecard (BEE) rating system. In 2006, the SSACI succeeded in enhancing its BEE credentials to further increase the scheme’s attractiveness to corporate sponsors.  All of these effects are vital ingredients for a stable future.


Corporate responsibility

Corporate responsibility

We have a long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility and strive to implement this across our business. Our performance has received high ratings from independent third-party organisations.

Read the whole story

A leader in sustainability

Swiss Re was insurance industry sector leader in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the third consecutive year and the tenth time since 2004.

Read the whole story