Corporate social investment in development: an analysis and critique of the Anglo American chairman's fund

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct an analysis and critique of the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund. In conducting this analysis the development framework on which Anglo American bases its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) was examined. The relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and development literature specifically Modernization and Dependency theory set the theoretical foundations for the analysis of the Chairman’s Fund. Three schools of thought were identified in the CSR literature namely; Neoliberalism, Neo- Keynesianism and Radical Political Economy. The role and implications of CSR theory and its proposed models (the CSR Pyramid and CSR Venn) was explored comprehensively in this analysis. The critique was based on two sub-objectives; to examine Anglo American’s understanding and interpretation of CSR, and how its chosen areas of investment and development framework fell within this understanding. Research data was gathered using a qualitative approach and specifically involved the analysis of relevant Anglo American CSI documents covering the period 2005 to 2007. Selected documents included annual reviews of the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund and case study reports. The findings revealed the intrinsic connection between CSR and development theories. Anglo American’s interpretation of CSR is based predominantly on a Neoliberal framework whose main version is Modernization theory. From this it was inferred that the CSR Pyramid model is identifiable with Anglo American’s CSI practices. Despite its contributions to development particularly in Education and Health, the Neoliberal framework adopted by the Chairman’s Fund has had some negative implications such as reinforced inequality across South Africa’s provinces and development sectors. The investigation of Anglo American’s CSI framework also unveiled the porous relationship between CSI and mining legislation. The overlap between the two has meant that Anglo American attempts to meet its obligations to mining legislation such as the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 (MHSA) through CSI. However, the findings indicate that Anglo American has not always done so effectively. This is evidenced by case examples examined in this study which highlight instances where Anglo American failed to appropriately address the environmental and health consequences of its mining operations in host communities. In general the findings indicate that the framework on which Anglo American bases its CSI has had significant influence on the extent to which it can contribute to development.

Includes bibliographical references.