Babcock’s commitment to ESG

The impact of the BSF is perhaps best illustrated through the story of Londiwe Sithole (left) and her mother, Jabu Sithole.
The impact of the BSF is perhaps best illustrated through the story of Londiwe Sithole (left) and her mother, Jabu Sithole.

Babcock’s commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles goes beyond operational excellence. The company believes in creating lasting impacts in the communities where it operates, particularly through education and empowerment. Its Babcock Scholarship Fund (BSF) stands as a testament to this commitment, providing vital financial support to the children of its employees and transforming lives.

The Babcock Scholarship Fund

Launched in 2018, the Babcock Scholarship Fund (BSF) aims to alleviate the financial burdens faced by its employees in providing education for their children. This initiative, a cornerstone of its Social Economic Development and Skills Development programmes, is open to the children under the age of 25 of its permanent employees, covering education from Grade 1 to tertiary level.

To date, the BSF has awarded 863 scholarships, investing nearly R14-million into the programme. Administered by Babcock Africa’s HR Learning and Development team, with the support of procurement and finance departments, the fund embodies Babcock’s dedication to nurturing talent and providing opportunities for future generations.

Londiwe Sithole’s story

The impact of the BSF is perhaps best illustrated through the story of Londiwe Sithole and her mother, Jabu Sithole. Jabu, a single mother from the rural areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal, moved to Johannesburg in late 2014 in search of better job opportunities. She started working with Babcock through a cleaning company and, in 2019, was offered a permanent position at Babcock.

When the BSF was announced, Jabu was encouraged by a colleague to apply for the scholarship for her daughter, Londiwe, who had recently completed her matric but could not afford further studies. Londiwe’s journey from the rural areas to Johannesburg, her adjustment to city life, and her academic pursuit at Rosebank College, where she studied for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, were not without their challenges.

Despite the initial setbacks, including failing a module in her first year, Londiwe’s resilience saw her through. She took breaks, when necessary, gained work experience as an Education Assistant, and in February 2024, passed her outstanding module, earning her degree.

Celebrating success and looking ahead

Londiwe’s graduation was a momentous occasion, for her, Jabu and the entire Babcock community. It also marked the first graduation in their family, a significant milestone that brought immense pride and joy. Kathryn Paradisos, Learning and Development Manager at Babcock Africa, highlights the emotional journey and the triumphs, stating, “Seeing the success of the BSF initiative makes me feel good. The challenges are real, but the joy of our employees when their children succeed is indescribable.”

Londiwe, now working at a retail store, is actively searching for a learnership to further her career. She aspires to push beyond her comfort zone and dreams of giving back to her community, embodying the spirit of gratitude and forward-thinking that the BSF seeks to instil.

The broader impact

The generosity of the BSF has fundamentally altered Jabu and her family’s perspective on education and opportunities. The financial support has not only made Londiwe’s educational dreams a reality but has also fostered a culture of aspiration and resilience within her family.

“As we continue to invest in our employees and their families, the stories of beneficiaries like Londiwe inspire us to expand our efforts, knowing that the future truly belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

“At Babcock, our ESG commitments are more than just corporate responsibilities; they are the heart of our mission to empower individuals and build stronger communities. The Babcock Scholarship Fund is a shining example of how we are turning these commitments into tangible, life-changing actions.”

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