It is hard to believe that 2016 is already coming to an end. The Christmas decorations and promotions have already been filling the hallways of shopping malls for a couple of weeks. Seeing that the season of giving is creeping closer, I saw it fit to share with Smartcom customers the wonderful work that you have helped us accomplish in the past ten months.

Smartcom has always had a culture of giving. In fact, giving and caring for our communities is so strongly weaved into who we are that we very seldom talk about all the work we do. While we occasionally share some of our projects on Facebook, most of our corporate social responsibility projects are not broadcasted or used as an attempt at marketing ourselves.

Smartcom’s CSR focus consists of four spectrums that we care about deeply; People, Education, Technology and Entrepreneurship. We are always on the lookout for organisations within this framework whose services can be improved with the help of technology, especially mobile voice and data technologies.

This year, we decided to add a very simple product to our basket of gifts; the humble light. Fans of the award-winning Downton Abbey would recall the dramatic events and confusion when it was announced in the 1920s that Downton would be installing lights in all the rooms. It is hard to fathom a world were lights were an alien concept only reserved for the extremely rich.

Sadly, even in 2016, there are still many families who regard something like lighting and even electricity as a luxury. All across our country, children still have to study by candle light. Even organisations operating in certain areas have to do so without proper lighting. That is why this year, in addition to providing our beneficiaries with free or discounted voice and data services, Smartcom has also distributed hundreds of lights.

The lights we distributed in 2016 ranged from solar lights for school children to ceiling lights for the offices of charities and even funky lights for children’s homes.

Smartcom believes that every person should have at least some form of access to the internet. We can, however, not do that without acknowledging that there are even more basic needs that still need our attention.

So far this year, we have distributed lights worth over R100 000 to various charities and organisations across the country. We could not have done this without the loyal support of all our customers. Thank you for helping us to help others.

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