SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

 

We at Emira stay in touch and relevant to local communities around our centres and operations. We endeavour to address their needs through our involvement in various initiatives that uplift communities and better the lives of those who live near our properties. These include efforts to benefit both shoppers and under-resourced members of local communities.

 

SOCIAL INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN
SOLIDARITY FUND DONATIONS

We believe in leading by example, conducting ourselves responsibly as a business and doing what is right for society where we can. During the pandemic, we contributed to the Solidarity Fund through Emira’s executive directors, who donated 30% of their salaries for April, May and June, and all non-executive directors, who donated 30% of their directors’ fees for the same period, for a total contribution of R1 million.

 

TENANT EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

As responsible members of our communities, we helped to find temporary work for our retail tenants’ employees, who were unable to work due to the strict regulations of the COVID-19 lockdown. To help make ends meet, they were given temporary employment at some of our buildings in support of safety, health and well-being during the pandemic. We appreciate their role in providing extra assistance, which helped to keep our tenants, their staff and customers safe.

 

RETAIL SOCIAL INITIATIVES

Our shopping centres assist the less fortunate who come from surrounding communities. Our retail centres support a wide variety of charity focused social initiatives each year, to make a positive impact on local communities. The centres help to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes and facilitate donations of food, clothing, school bags, library books, stationery and sports kits, garden and landscaping assistance. Our retail social initiatives provide entertainment and educational services to local communities, as well as personal health and safety discussions. The centres help to protect the natural environment, domestic animals and wildlife by assisting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and organising beach, lagoon and nature trail clean-ups.

The following table is a snapshot of the retail social initiatives undertaken at Emira’s shopping centres during the year:

 

 

SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

We at Emira stay in touch and relevant to local communities around our centres and operations. We endeavour to address their needs through our involvement in various initiatives that uplift communities and better the lives of those who live near our properties. These include efforts to benefit both shoppers and under-resourced members of local communities.

 

SOCIAL INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN
SOLIDARITY FUND DONATIONS

We believe in leading by example, conducting ourselves responsibly as a business and doing what is right for society where we can. During the pandemic, we contributed to the Solidarity Fund through Emira’s executive directors, who donated 30% of their salaries for April, May and June, and all non-executive directors, who donated 30% of their directors’ fees for the same period, for a total contribution of R1 million.

 

TENANT EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

As responsible members of our communities, we helped to find temporary work for our retail tenants’ employees, who were unable to work due to the strict regulations of the COVID-19 lockdown. To help make ends meet, they were given temporary employment at some of our buildings in support of safety, health and well-being during the pandemic. We appreciate their role in providing extra assistance, which helped to keep our tenants, their staff and customers safe.

 

RETAIL SOCIAL INITIATIVES

Our shopping centres assist the less fortunate who come from surrounding communities. Our retail centres support a wide variety of charity focused social initiatives each year, to make a positive impact on local communities. The centres help to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes and facilitate donations of food, clothing, school bags, library books, stationery and sports kits, garden and landscaping assistance. Our retail social initiatives provide entertainment and educational services to local communities, as well as personal health and safety discussions. The centres help to protect the natural environment, domestic animals and wildlife by assisting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and organising beach, lagoon and nature trail clean-ups.

The following table is a snapshot of the retail social initiatives undertaken at Emira’s shopping centres during the year:

 

 

HYDE PARK LANE UPGRADE

 

THE PROPERTY

Emira’s Hyde Park Lane is a 15 000m2 A-grade office park consisting of eight buildings within a well-established, treed park environment. During the year, the property underwent a R12,5 million upgrade, which included external repainting, improving building interiors and common areas, as well as a major refurbishment to the landscaping.

 

 

IDENTIFYING A CHALLENGE

During the upgrade, the landscaping team uncovered a major infestation of Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (“PSHB”) beetle, affecting almost every tree on the property. The PSHB beetle is native to Southeast Asia and has a symbiotic relationship with the fungus Fusarium Euwallaceae, a food source for the adult beetles and their larvae.

The beetles have decimated trees across South Africa, attacking a wide range of exotic and indigenous trees. In susceptible trees, it is the fungus that slowly kills the tree, rather than the beetle. The far-reaching PSHB infestation in South Africa has had a major impact on Johannesburg’s dense urban forest. Other affected areas include Durban, Richards Bay, Pietermaritzburg, George, Knysna and Hartswater. In South Africa, 21 tree species have been identified as the beetles’ reproductive hosts and evidence of PSHB has been found in 151 tree species in the country. A heavily infested tree can contain over 100 000 beetles, and females can fly up to 1km.

 

 

A GROUNDBREAKING SOLUTION

To slow the spread of the infestation, badly affected trees must be treated urgently or removed. Previous treatments have sought to poison the beetle, which drills tiny holes through the protective bark layer, exposing the tree’s vascular system. In this flawed method, both the beetles and the trees die from the poison. To address the problem, Emira partnered with Beetle Busters, whose new treatment targets the fungus that sustains the adult beetles and their larvae. In this way, the tree is saved by starving the beetle and killing the fungus. The treatment has been 100% successful and represents a key intervention.

 

ENHANCED BIODIVERSITY

Having saved the treed gardens, the property’s biodiversity was boosted further with the introduction of 35 new tree species, and 55 Bougainvillea that thrive in the area. Another 58 different species of colourful shrubs, perennials and flowering species were also introduced. As part of Emira’s conservation efforts, managed beehives have been introduced to remote areas of the park. In time, the bees will harvest and pollinate the new gardens and produce a uniquely flavoured honey from the variety of plants on the property.

 

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS TO INCREASE IMPACT

Emira has strategic partnerships with the World Wide Fund for Nature (“WWF”), the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and Trees for Africa.

 

 

TREES FOR AFRICA

In 2019, Emira addressed its operational carbon emissions for company travel, staff commute and paper consumption by planting 223 trees, offsetting 82 28tCO2 e produced. The Company partnered with Food & Trees for Africa, planting a mix of 70 fruit trees and 163 indigenous shade trees of different varieties at seven underresourced primary and intermediate schools in the Daveyton and Katlehong areas.

Emira went further in 2020, planting a variety of 79 new trees on its properties. The Fund again partnered with Food & Trees for Africa, planting an additional 86 trees, offsetting the Company’s operational carbon footprint. As part of Emira’s ongoing biodiversity strategy, the intention is to offset the Fund’s entire operational footprint by planting trees on properties within the directly held local portfolio. This will benefit Emira’s Carbon Reduction Strategy while also beautifying its properties for the enjoyment of tenants and their clients.

 

URBAN FARMS

Notably included in the Fund’s biodiversity strategy and CSR food programme are two urban farms, both of which reside at properties within the local portfolio. One is at Gateway Landing, an industrial property, and the second is at Wonderpark Shopping Centre, both of which are located in Pretoria. The two farms support local charities by growing fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables for consumption by members of the local communities.

 

 

The nursery at Wonderpark also farms numerous species of trees and indigenous plants that can be found within the portfolio.