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NBI Membership

Why join the NBI

The business case for the NBI is clear. No matter which sector a company operates in or where its expertise lies, one overriding fact applies: ‘Business cannot succeed in a failing society as business thrives when society thrives’. Therefore, long term economic success and social cohesion can only be founded on sustainable approaches to development.

The NBI Value Proposition

Building the brand of business as a source of innovation and positive action and positioning business as a trusted implementation partner for government and other key societal stakeholders, both nationally and internationally.

Benefits of joining the NBI

Building relationships and safe communication channels with Government, leading to co-operation in policy development and implementation.

Enhancing democracy by building the capacity and maturity of business to meaningfully engage.

The NBI has a track record of making a difference working collaboratively through collective action with our members. Highlights of this impact are as follows:

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1995 – 1999

The NBI is formed at the request of former president Nelson Mandela. The NBI sets up and launches Business Against Crime and the NBI EduPol.

The NBI conceptualises the Whole School Development, through which Education Quality Improvement Partnerships (EQUIP) is launched. The Business Trust is launched shortly thereafter.

Business Against Crime organisation

  • Introduced the anti-hijack Gauteng Highway Patrol through the donation of 100 BMW vehicles.
  • Introduced city centre closed circuit cameras.
  • Supported the government in re-engineering the criminal justice system.
  • Business Against Crime currently runs as an organisation that is independent from the NBI.

The Education Quality Improvement Partnerships (EQUIP)

  • Goal: Strengthen quality of teaching and learning in schools through whole school development and a focus on management, leadership and governance.
  • Partnered with school leaders and teachers from 450 disadvantaged schools to focus on professional development in English, Maths, Science and Technology to the benefit of over 2.5 million learners.

The Business Trust

  • Goal: Strengthen job creation and human capacity development.
  • Supported the growth of tourism, tourism-focused enterprises (Tourism Enterprise Programme), the TVET sector through the Colleges Collaboration Fund and the improvement of schooling quality.
  • Strengthened relations between former President Thabo Mbeki’s government and big business through the Big Business Working Group.

2000 – 2009

The NBI introduces the concept of “sustainable development” as it practically relates to business. The NBI is chosen as the regional partner for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The NBI launches JIPSA, a high-level programme that elevates the skills shortage debate to catalyse solutions. The NBI partners with Incite Sustainability to bring the Carbon Disclosure Project to South Africa


The Sustainable Futures Programme

  • The NBI introduces the concept of the role of business in sustainable development in South Africa.
  • Strategic refocus is adopted to promote good corporate citizenship and responsible business practice, opening up trust channels between business and government.
  • The Programme diversified the NBI work streams, adding Environmental Sustainability to an already strong social and economic focus.
  • As a result, the NBI become a global network partner of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, a relationship that it continues to hold to this day.

The Travel and Tourism Programme

  • Goal: To develop relevant travel and tourism curriculum, with input from business, for grades 10 –12.
  • When the Programme was handed over in 2009, over 2000 schools were teaching Travel & Tourism as a subject to over 300,000 learners in grades 10 –12.
  • Over 1000 teachers and subject advisors across the country were trained.
  • To this day, the NBI continues to receive royalties from curriculum development which are used to fund the NBI Lecturer Work Placement Programme whose goal it is to maximise curriculum fit between TVET colleges and the Travel and Tourism sector.

The College Industries Partnership (CIP)

  • Goal: To develop a modern, high-quality and responsive public FET system designed to accelerate and expand skills development and delivery
  • The work that was achieved from the Partnership now forms part of the formal National Skills Accord targets.
  • The Accord was a precursor to the NBI’s suite of Social Transformation Programmes that focus specifically on Skills Development, Youth Employability and the strengthening of the TVET system.

South African focalpoint for the United Nations Global Compact

  • Goal: To promote responsible business practice, as launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
  • The NBI becamethe South African focal point for the Compact, until it was released to run independently in 2018.

The Energy Efficiency Accord

  • Goal: To facilitate interaction between government and business to engage on energy efficiency, energy strategy and policy implementation.
  • The NBI facilitated the signing of the country’s progressive Energy Efficiency Accord between the Department of Minerals and Energy and 20 leading companies.
  • The successes of the Accord led to its formalisation under the banner of The Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN) as signed and agreed upon at COP17.

The Energy Efficiency Leadership Network (EELN)

  • The EELN was conceptualised and refined by the NBI to facilitate open engagement between government and business about energy efficiency, strategy and policy.
  • The Network is designed to upskill network members through shared energy efficiency experiences and energy efficiency technology best practices.
  • The EELN continues to form an important component of the NBI’s Environmental Sustainability suite of programmes, with a current membership of just over 50 organisations.

The EnterPrizeBusiness Plan competition

  • True to its historical role as an incubator of innovative programmes for business, the NBI launched the EnterPrizeBusiness Plan competition long before such initiatives became the norm in corporate structures.
  • The competition was conceived to promote the creation of sustainable small-and medium-sized businesses, to create sustainable jobs, to develop business skills and to access finance effectively and efficiently.
  • The competition paired innovative entrepreneurs with business leaders, allowing them time and resources to create strategies for growth with the support of experts in business.

The Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA)

  • Goal: To identify priority skills for South Africa and to resolve blockages to the development of these skills.
  • JIPSA was conceptualised by the NBI and adopted by the Office of the Presidency as a presidential project under the leadership of Phumzile Mlambo-Ncuka.
  • The Parliament of South Africa appointed the NBI as secretariat to JIPSA.
  • JIPSA presently runs as an independent initiative, renamed the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDSA).

2009 – 2019


The Economic Linkages Initiative

  • Goal: To facilitate accessby black enterprises to the supply chain of large corporations.
  • A partnership with Corporate Council on Africa and ECIAfricawassecured which resulted in four-year funding from USAID.
  • Output from the Initiative was used to form the South African Supplier Diversity Council (SASDC), which became independent of the NBI in 2011.

The Learning Partnerships

  • Goal: To demonstrate the case for collective and collaborative action by companies to change the schooling system in South Africa.
  • The Partnership was launched and implemented with R1m in seed funding.
  • Learnings from the project were shared with members, and the project closed in 2011.

CDP Climate

  • Goal: To showcase the role of business in the climate change agenda.
  • As an implementation partner of the CDP, the NBI motivates member companies to disclose their environmental impacts specifically in relation to climate change and water.
  • The NBI continues to provide sense-making capabilities and practical capacity-building to NBI members who are CDP signatories.
  • The NBI also uses data and insights obtained from members to highlight risks and opportunities presented by climate-and water-related issues.
  • The NBI partnership and work with the CDP continues.

We Mean Business (WMB)

  • Goal: to galvanise the world’s most influential businesses and investors globally to recognise that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all.
  • The NBI has the local implementation partner to WMB since the dawn of 2015.
  • The NBI uses knowledge and experience of South African and regional businesses and policy-making to contribute a local perspective to WMB’s international work around climate change and its role in modern business.

uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP)

  • Goal: To address water security challenges in the uMhlathuze region of South Africa.
  • The UWASP is a river basin collaboration of business government and civil society partners.
  • As the catalyst and founding member of the Partnership and through its convening strength, the NBI brought together various manufacturing members and government stakeholders to form UWASP.
  • The Partnership continues to exist, recently taking on a strategic water security role in the region.

Kopano-ya-Metsi Project

  • Goal: To work with key stakeholders and experts in the water sector in order to understand the challenges, and find possible solutions to the factors hindering private investment.
  • The Project was launched in partnership with, and with funding from, the Confederation of Danish Industry and Voluntas Advisory.
  • The aim of the project was to unlock private investment in the water sector as at the time of its launch, South Africa faced an estimated water infrastructure need of R700b over the next decade in order to enhance water security.
  • All project milestones have been achieved so far, and the project is continuing.

The Western Cape Drought Task Force

  • Goal: To provide assistance to the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government with strategic and business continuity planning in light of the Western Cape water crisis.
  • The NBI recruited the involvement of over 20 companies to the Task Force with a focus on continuity for business and schools, as well practical preparation for Day Zero.
  • The achievements of the Task Force led to the Gauteng Government approaching the NBI for a similar initiative in Gauteng aimed at proactive water management and water security. The Western Cape Drought Task Force is in the process of being redesigned to focus on drought and flood management, water management, water stewardship and water security as a result of reduced water shortage threats in the Western Cape.

The Private Sector Energy Efficiency Programme (PSEE)

  • Goal: To build a better,efficient and secure energy future for South Africa by working in partnership with business.
  • The NBI secured approximately R150m from DFID to fund the project over three years, with all agreed targets achieved.
  • The NBI is currently on the Green Climate Funding shortlist to receive further funding to continue with this important work.

The Workplace Based Learning (WBL)

  • Goal: To create a shared understanding of the concept of WBL and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in business, government and TVET colleges, and identify the blockages and opportunities relating to effective implementation of WBL and WIL across the economy.
  • The NBI commissioned a study in partnership with business representatives and the Skills Task Team which forms part of the Presidential Working Group.
  • The output of this study was a presentation by the NBI of a practical guide for companies for the successful implementation of WBL and WIL, which included a roadmap and checklist.
  • The insights gleaned from the study was used as input at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on the Workplace Based Programme Agreement Regulations.

The NBI Transformation Programme

  • Goal: To support and facilitate deeper and comprehensive levels of social transformation and economic inclusion with the private sector.
  • This newly-launched Programme has already made strong progress, including the finalisation of a collective corporate vision of what a transformed South Africa means for business and society. This process includes input from corporates in Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape.
  • The next phase of the Programme involves the definition of pathways of action towards the collective corporate vision.

The CEO Initiative

  • Goal: To improve international confidence in South Africa’s economy and to prevent further credit downgrades.
  • The CEO Initiative was conceptualised in Davos in January 2016.
  • The NBI was approached and appointed as the secretariat of the CEO Initiative.
  • Some of the achievements of the CEO Initiative include the incubation and launch of the YES Initiative and the SA SME Fund.
  • Both Initiatives are currently running independently of the CEO Initiative.


Mike Brown

Chief Executive Officer

Mxolisi Mgojo

Chief Executive Officer

Madeleine Ronquest

Head of Environment, Social and Climate Risk

Bongani Nqwababa

Joint President and CEO

Andile Sangqu

Executive Head: South Africa

Why our Members value the NBI


Contact Us

To find out more and to join the NBI, please contact:

Gillian Hutchings:

Gillian Hutchings:

Head: Membership and Communications