OIM’s history is deeply rooted in social development. Through our non-profit organisation, The Trust for Peace and Prosperity, OIM has been investing in socio-economic development since 1983 – long before it became part of BEE scorecards and legislation. The Trust, which originated from a group of non-profit organisations first registered in 1974, was in many ways the forerunner of OIM’s commercial business consulting services.

Today OIM still focuses on social development as part of our commitment to make a meaningful contribution to the long-term prosperity of our client organisations, as well as the individuals and communities we interact with.

Investing in the community

Examples of the Trust’s work

Training and employee engagement in the textile industry, Plettenberg Bay
In 2009 a group of local women from Plettenberg Bay established Ubuntu@The Crags, a cooperation that produces French linen for well-known chain stores. OIM helped its leaders to set up business structures, processes and employee engagement tools and trained them in enterprise development, leadership skills and business principles. Using OIM’s operations expertise, we have also been actively involved in aspects such as production line planning, installation of machinery and operational training. Since 2010 OIM is also sponsoring the operational training for staff members.

Basic education in Wallacedene
In line with OIM’s passion to impart knowledge and skills, we have invested in the development of about 26 crèches in the Wallacedene informal settlement in the Cape Peninsula. Through this joint venture with local organisations we help to supply the necessary equipment for the crèches, train teachers in education principles and supply material such as daily lesson plans to improve the standard of education. The vision is for community transformation and therefore teachers are also trained in aspects such as parenting, health and safety, management principles and entrepreneurship skills. The initiative was launched in March 2010 and currently reaches between 2 000 and 3 000 children.

Conflict resolution in numerous mining communities
During the late ’80s OIM spent several years mediating in conflict situations in the mining communities of the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga. At the time OIM was doing commercial work for the mining sector, focusing on conflict resolution between management and the unions. This conflict often stemmed from the political situation in South Africa with violence in communities frequently spilling over into the workplace. OIM spent years in the communities – two months at a time – doing mediation work and helping community leaders to better understand the business environment. Simultaneously, we empowered union leaders by coaching them in conflict resolution, business skills and practical labour law principles.

Business interventions in the fishing industry, West Coast
Following major regulatory changes in the fishing industry, OIM ran several business interventions on the West Coast from 1993 to1998. Former small-scale fishermen – now new business owners – were given hands-on support to set up their ventures, introduce proper management structures and compile business plans. They also underwent training in business principles to help ensure the sustainability of their new ventures.

Workshops in business principles, North West
During the late-’90s OIM ran business workshops at Anglo Platinum mine in Rustenburg for a women’s group that produce arts and crafts for the tourism market.

Interventions in the deciduous fruit industry, Western Cape
While doing conflict resolution in the deciduous fruit industry, OIM realised the conflict was aggravated by violence in the community. OIM extended the intervention to the local communities and conducted several business workshops for community leaders to deepen their understanding of the fruit industry.

Coaching in the telecommunications industry, Southern Cape
OIM ran workshops for cellphone franchise owners and employees in George and the surrounding areas early in 2009. Topics included the impact of the global economy on service delivery, leadership development and business skills. OIM also helped owners to implement regular communication structures using its groundbreaking employee engagement methodology, INVOCOMS®.

Diversity management in the education sector, Polokwane
Following a racial incident at a school in Polokwane (formerly known as Pietersburg) in 2004, OIM was approached by one of its clients to run workshops on the value of diversity awareness. Joint and separate workshops were run over several weeks for Grade 10 to 12 learners and teachers along with workshops for educational leaders in the area and the parent-teacher association.

Ad hoc educational sponsorships
Through its business network OIM often becomes aware of sponsorship needs. We have provided several study bursaries for disadvantaged students and raised more than R100 000 for two promising young musicians from the Cape Peninsula who represented South Africa in the world-renowned Jeuness International Music Competition in Bucharest.