V&A Waterfront

Corporate Social Investment Policy



The V&A Waterfront is committed to establishing, promoting, maintaining and improving a culture of sustainability and environmental responsibility through all of its stakeholders. In order to achieve an equitable balance between economic, environmental and social sustainability, we are committed to best sustainable practice through what we do and how we do it

The CSI strategy aligns the business' internal values and strategy with key issues effecting social, economic and environmental development, both locally and globally, by supporting the National Development Plan (NDP) within the local context and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development on an international level.

The V&A Waterfront however recognises that the lives of those who are disadvantaged cannot be improved by investing in philanthropic causes alone. By placing the emphasis on entrepreneurship and social innovation we are able to create scale for small businesses, producing sustainable economic growth and meaningful job creation.

The objectives of our CSI strategy are:

  • Being an enabler for economic growth;
  • Driving meaningful job creation;
  • Creating social value, contributing to nation building and social cohesion; and
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability and resilience.

We provide support in a number of ways:

Our V&A community programme helps with ad hoc requests, humanitarian needs and disaster relief efforts. This programme is in place to assist non-profits and community service initiatives, with examples of currently supported initiatives including:

  • SPCA
  • Relate Bracelet
  • 67 Blankets
  • The Haven
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Ikamva Labantu
  • The Lalela Project
  • Peninsula School Feeding Scheme
  • Thula Thula

Contributions range from space at no cost for fundraising efforts to cash donations toward immediate relief and outreach.

At the V&A we are also passionate about empowering our staff to get involved. The V&A Waterfront Staff Community project allows for staff to apply for funding for projects they are equally passionate about or involved in within their respective communities,

Small Business Development

Our biggest focus lies in the empowerment of young entrepreneurs and small businesses such as the kiosks in the Victoria Wharf, the traders at the V&A Food Market, The Oranjezicht City Farm Market and the ocean economy. Our key development programmes however are:

1)    The Watershed & Workshop 17

The Watershed is a space where fashion, craft, art and design come to life. As a result of the transformation of the Blue Shed Craft Market, the Watershed combines the former tenants of the Red and Blue Sheds and can be found opposite the Two Oceans Aquarium, overlooking the oldest dry dock in the Southern Hemisphere, the Robinson Dry Dock. Historically this building was used as an electrical warehouse and today is home to 150 small businesses that showcases 365 brands.

The fostering of small businesses is a key focus for the V&A Waterfront and with that, the mezzanine level of Watershed houses Workshop17. This is a co-working space which is available to entrepreneurs and innovators to be inspired, collaborate and create.

Workshop17 has been created to boost the building of new businesses in and focused on Africa. Hub environments produce a cluster effect, which improves the prospects for new companies and generates innovative, more relevant and market-ready ideas. The V&A is delighted to be collaborating with a leading operator of co-working environments, Open, to support of the efforts of organisations like mLab, Codex and Silicon Cape to promote and build an entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem in Cape Town.

2)    The V&A Waterfront Buskers Programme

The V&A prescribes to the continuous development and improvement of the buskers operating on the property. As such monthly workshops are held that focus on business acumen and musical development of artists and we also play an active role in advocating for street art and performances. This is achieved through a series of V&A supported events that highlight the efficacy of busking as well as through engagements with key stakeholders. Providing material support toward the development of emerging artists is key to the success of the V&A Waterfront Buskers Programme.

3)    Economic empowerment through supplier and enterprise development

Our supplier empowerment project aims to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses (QSE and EME) the training and development needed to become fully independent, established and sustainable businesses. Through an incubation program, business owners are given guidance, impact investment and access to additional procurement opportunities. This programme fosters entrepreneurship and supports the growth of the economy through meaningful job creation.

Apply for funding

To apply for funding – please complete the below application form. All funding requests will be tabled for the CSI Committee to deliberate on and evaluate according to outlined focus areas. The CSI committee meets monthly and reports to the Social and Ethics Committee that meets quarterly. All requests must be submitted to the CSI Committee well in advance of each monthly meeting in order to be considered.


Criteria for partnering/funding with an organisation or programme:

All potential projects need to complete an application form. Together with this, the project proposal should include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Programme outline and basic information
  • Relevant registration documents
  • Programme budget
  • Financial disclosure or qualified financials where possible
  • Measurable goals and tracking mechanisms
  • Impact and sustainability plan (Is the programme able to operate after funding expires?)

We do not fund, partner or sponsor

  • Projects that are not aligned to our four focus areas
  • Profit making companies
  • Religious or political organisations
  • Labour movements/unions
  • V&A Waterfront employees or their immediate families – see V&A Waterfront Staff Community Project
  • International travels
  • Your business is not operational and it is just an idea or a concept


What are you applying for?

Our V&A Community Programme

V&A Waterfront Buskers Programme              

The Watershed