When respondents from leading South African companies and government were asked in a national survey to rate companies’ strategies and practices on corporate social responsibility (CSR), Netcare was rated the top healthcare organisation. This has earned the Group a PMR.africa Diamond Arrow Award, the highest recognition, for the past four years.

The Netcare Group’s corporate social investment (CSI) is focused on the following key categories:

  • Emergency medical services to indigent patients
  • Healthcare accessibility initiatives and programmes for disadvantaged communities and individuals
  • Community health and welfare sponsorships and outreach programmes
  • Academic sponsorships and bursaries
  • Discretionary CSI projects.

The Netcare Group’s CSI strategy, governance and activities are coordinated by the Netcare Foundation, a registered public benefit organisation that was established in 2010, and is governed by a board of trustees. The Foundation partners with government, corporates, suppliers, healthcare professionals and staff members to support the upliftment of the communities in which Netcare operates and broadening access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities and individuals.

Broadening access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities and individuals.

In 2015, R25.1 million was invested in healthcare-related CSI initiatives, representing 1.03% of Netcare’s profit after tax.

CSI beneficiary distribution 2015

African 76%
Coloured 6%
Indian 4%
White 14%

CSI spend per category

Indigent emergency medical services 57.8%
Accessibility initiatives 8.0%
Community sponsorships 13.5%
CSI discretionary spend 0.4%
Academic support 26.3%

Accessibility to specialised medical services

Initiatives aiming at providing disadvantaged individuals access to specialised medical treatment comprises the following:
A range of core specialised healthcare programmes Healthcare and other services to survivors of sexual assault

Netcare’s core programmes

Netcare craniofacial programme

It is estimated that one in every 2 000 babies is born with craniofacial deformities, i.e. abnormalities of the skull (cranium) and/or facial bones. These individuals are often shunned and ostracised by society.

Netcare’s craniofacial programme focuses on providing individuals with complex craniofacial anomalies with access to highly specialised treatment. These individuals usually require a series of craniofacial surgical interventions and years of treatment to achieve satisfactory results.

Since 2008, 80 successful surgeries have been facilitated through the programme.

Highly specialised surgical interventions are provided to disadvantaged individuals to correct complex craniofacial anomalies.


Mr Sinethemba Qasha

Mr Sinethemba Qasha, dubbed the ‘Elephant Man’ by the Sowetan newspaper, had his fourth craniofacial procedure in August 2015, when zygomatic implants were inserted to make his face look more symmetrical. When Mr Qasha was evicted by the community and his family from his family home in KwaZulu-Natal, the Netcare Foundation organised accommodation for him at Ebenezer Hannah Home in Grasmere. His ongoing surgery continues to be sponsored by the Motsepe Foundation, the Sowetan and many generous individuals.

Cleft lip and palate programme

The Cleft lip and palate programme is unique in that not only is surgery performed to correct the conditions, but patients are managed over the long-terms by multi-disciplinary teams including a plastic surgeon, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon, a speech therapist, an orthodontist, a social worker, a paediatrician, a genetic counsellor, together with the children’s parents to achieve the best outcomes for them.

The programme has to date has facilitated surgery for 330 patients.

Netcare cataract programme

Netcare, together with valued support from the Nedbank Foundation, Vodacom Foundation, Alcon Laboratories and specialist ophthalmologists, continues to invest in the cataract programme that assists qualifying beneficiaries affected by cataracts to regain their sight.

Nine Netcare hospitals across South Africa participate in the programme which to date has restored the sight of just under 5 000 disadvantaged individuals.

Cochlear programme

Netcare, in partnership with Bidvest Hear for Life Trust and 94.7 Highveld Stereo, the Netcare Foundation facilitates cochlear implants To date, 50 patients have received implants.

15-month-old Fayaaz Otto of Cape Town, who underwent a cochlear implant procedure on 3 March this year, which coincided with World Hearing Day.

Application for assistance - Netcare’s core programmes

The following criteria are applicable to those looking for assistance through these programmes:

  • Applicants must be South African citizens.
  • Applicants must be unemployed or reliant on a state grant.
  • If receiving an income, it should be no more than R2 000 per month. A means-of-living test will apply.
  • Applicants must have no access to medical scheme or insurance cover.

Healthcare and other services for survivors of sexual assault

Breakdown of Netcare sexual assault spend - 2015

Netcare is committed to providing quality healthcare services to survivors of sexual assault irrespective of their ability to pay, and is the only private hospital group in South Africa that offers such care together with medico-legal support.

The first centre was established in 1998 (the Albertina Sisulu Centre at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital), and since 2000, 11 555 survivors of sexual assault – male, female and children – have been assisted at Netcare’s sexual assault centres which are located at 37 Netcare emergency departments countrywide.

Emergency medical services for indigent patients

Netcare provides pre-hospital emergency medical services through Netcare 911 to indigent patients with life-threatening injuries or conditions, and treatment at our 43 emergency departments nationally.

In 2015, support was provided to 1 354 patients and the provision of emergency medical services for indigent patients comprised 57.8% of the R25.1 million which Netcare invested in healthcare-related CSI initiatives. This is testimony to the fact that Netcare 911 and Netcare place the sanctity of human life above all else.

Sandy Segal winter drive

Named after a late staff member of Netcare’s CSI team, this annual initiative is for the fourth consecutive year providing blankets donated by Netcare staff members to charities and homeless persons during the cold winter season. Up to 2015, over 4 600 blankets had been donated and just on R52 000 in monetary donations had been made.

Drink 1 donate 1 initiative

The Netcare Foundation initiated the Drink 1 donate 1 campaign to assist communities experiencing water shortage. Over 60 000 litres of water were collected at various Netcare facilities across the country. The Foundation partnered with Skynet and Operation Hydrate which distributed it nationally to beneficiaries in need.

Gift boxes for premature babies in public hospitals

In 2015, Netcare launched the Share the Hope initiative in conjunction with biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie. Netcare staff packed over 1 500 gift boxes with baby clothing, blankets, nappies and toiletries that they donated. These gift boxes were distributed to mothers of premature babies being cared for in neonatal intensive care units at 14 public sector hospitals. AbbVie donated gift boxes and Skynet Worldwide Express delivered the boxes to the hospitals free of charge.

Meredith Dooley (left), senior brand manager neonatology at AbbVie, and Linda Pretorius (right), co-ordinator of Netcare’s Neonatal Forum, with some of the more than 1 500 gift boxes donated to premature babies in state hospitals.

Public health awareness and screenings

Netcare operations often offer health awareness days, health talks and free health screenings at their facilities for the public, as well as at retirement homes, pre-schools and schools.

Support to community organisations

Netcare annually supports a large number of organisations and initiatives including various hospices, children’s homes, foundations, associations and societies which are providing health and care services in communities.

Outreach initiative to Tumelo hospice

Second hand hospital and office equipment

Hospital beds, patient lockers, bed trolleys and furniture from various hospitals as well as office equipment from Netcare head office are donated to NPO facilities in need on an on-going basis.

Moses Project

Staff and a few suppliers donated second hand baby clothes and blankets, as well as nappies and toiletries for the Moses Project, run by the Tshwane Child Welfare Department for abandoned babies.

Academic sponsorships and bursaries

A portion of Netcare’s CSI spend is invested in entities that support the training and development of doctors, as well as in the funding of scholarships, fellowships and registrar training.

Registrar and fellowship initiatives

Netcare continues to facilitate post-graduate learning for healthcare practitioners. This assists in effecting skills transfer and enhance expertise and specialist training to ultimately contribute to the number of much needed specialist healthcare practitioners in South Africa.

We have co-operative agreements and memorandums of understanding with six universities: University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University and North West University.

In 2015, Netcare committed R6 million to support registrar and fellowship posts in the fields of trauma research, infectious diseases, nephrology, maternal and foetal health, pulmonology, neonatal pulmonology and cardiology.

Currently, we support registrars in foot and ankle surgery and emergency medicine, while our fellowship commitments cover paediatric pulmonology, head and neck surgery, urology, pulmonology and infertility.

Facilitating post-graduate training to effect skills transfer and enhance expertise in healthcare.

Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship

The Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship Programme, established in 2007, awards scholarships to clinical specialists or sub-specialists of high academic calibre who demonstrate a capacity and commitment to make a positive difference to academic healthcare in our country.
2015 Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship recipients

Netcare provides financial support to the successful candidates so that they are able to undertake full-time doctoral or post-doctoral research training at leading institutions locally or overseas for three or more years. Further support after completion enables candidates to establish themselves in South Africa or commence an independent academic career for a further period of one or more years.

Candidates from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who are registered as specialists or subspecialists with the Health Professions Council of South Africa may apply for the scholarship. Academic institutions may also nominate candidates.

To date, 10 candidates have received scholarships and up to 2015, Netcare had invested about R15 million in assisting the recipients to achieve academic excellence.

Dr Simnikiwe Mayaphi, a clinical virologist from the University of Pretoria, and Dr Llewellyn Padayachy, a neurosurgeon from the University of Cape Town, were the 2015 scholarship recipients.

Discretionary CSI spend

Discretionary CSI spend is allocated in response to applications for assistance, and covers a wide range of treatments. Where surgery is required, Netcare’s contribution is generally in the form of hospital and theatre fees. Often these procedures are performed pro bono by surgeons and anaesthetists.

Assistance for burns victim

This young girl, a burns victim, is one of the individuals who is benefitting from our discretionary CSI spend. She suffered keloid scarring and is tremendous pain as a result of her burns, and will be undergoing an extensive series of procedures at Netcare Akasia Hospital in order to provide her with the best possible outcome, reduce her pain and restore her dignity.

Vascular programme

Through Netcare’s vascular programme, a few individuals suffering from elephantiasis have been assisted

Recognition for Netcare’s corporate social investment initiatives

2016 PMR.africa Diamond Arrow Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Netcare won the national Diamond Arrow Award in the category for private hospital and clinic groups for its corporate social responsibility initiatives. This is the fourth consecutive year that Netcare has had the highest recognition by PMR.africa.