In 2006 the second Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project was born

Ferrero in South Africa

The second Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project was launched in South Africa in 2006.

In 2009, a modern production plant was built in Walkerville (Midvaal) in Gauteng - one of the South African regions with high rates of unemployment - in an area characterized by a low level of urbanization, about an hour from Johannesburg.

The Group’s current commercial offices in the country are based in Johannesburg.

The Ferrero plant not only produces products for the domestic market, but also for the whole free trade area known as SADC (Southern African Development Community), which, along with South Africa, consists of the following 14 countries: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Last Social Activities

Walkerville is situated within the Sedibeng district of the Gauteng province. It is a small village about 30 Km (20 miles) south of Johannesburg, the provincial capital of Gauteng and the largest city in South Africa.

Midvaal municipality, where Walkerville is located, has a very low population density (about 65 inhabitants/km² vs. Johannesburg’s 2,900 inhabitants/km²) and hosts several rural/peri-urban primary schools.

In many emerging countries (i.e. not only in South Africa) rural schools generally face rather more serious challenges than urban schools. They have more difficulties in accessing adequate financial resources from their central administrations. Their pupils often need to cover long distances to attend classes, having limited access – or no access at all - to public means of transportation. Better qualified teachers tend to prefer schools in urban areas where: living conditions and access to professional opportunities tend to be better; pupils’ drop-out rates tend to be lower and attendance rates higher; classes tend to be less over-crowded and attended by same age-group children.

As a result of the above, in 2019 the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project in South Africa decided to support the construction of a sports center at the Laerskool De Deur primary school, situated in a peri-urban area about 12 km far from the Ferrero plant. More than a third of its over 1,300 pupils benefit from the National School Nutrition Program that provides one nutritious meal to pupils of destitute families.

The school was equipped with basic sport facilities that were upgraded into a proper sports center. Such facility now disposes of a football field equipped with a new modern irrigation system; bleachers covered with canopies and a changing room with showers and toilets for the pupils.

The project was designed and implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, its district representatives and the active support of Laerskool De Deur senior management.

The new sports facility will be made accessible also to other four rural schools located in the neighborhoods – catering for over 4,000 pupils – that, at present, do not dispose of proper sports facilities.

The importance of promoting sport activities in South African rural primary schools should not be underestimated, in a country where, according to recent surveys, only about 50 % of children get enough physical activity and where obesity levels of children and adolescents have reached critical levels.

The World Health Organisztion (WHO) reports in fact the fastest growth of obesity in the African region, where childhood overweight and obesity has more than doubled from 1990 to 2013. It is estimated that if obesity in South African children continues to increase at the current rate, 3.91 million school children will be overweight or obese by 2025.

Preventing childhood obesity is therefore not only about improving children’s health, which is an essential goal on its own. It is also about preventing obesity, ill health and premature deaths among adults.

The construction of a sports center at the Laerskool De Deur primary school will provide a good stepping stone opportunity also to promote Ferrero Kinder Joy of Moving’s methodology at local schools. In fact, the aim of this global Ferrero CSR project is to encourage younger generations to embrace an active lifestyle. Its methodology aims to get children moving, through play whilst also developing key skills in four major areas: physical fitness, motor coordination, cognitive function and creativity, life skills. By so doing, it shifts the focus from performance to fun, from competition to collaboration.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the inauguration of the Laerskool De Deur sports center could not be carried out in the presence but only through a webinar attended by representatives of the main institutions involved in the implementation of the project.

The Laerskool De Deur Sports Center


Past Social Activities

Financing of the “Love Matters” project, residential seminars for raising awareness of and preventing AIDS - a disease that still affects approximately 10% of the population in South Africa, especially young people - which over 600 young people took part in.

In 2012, the Ministry of Education in South Africa launched the “94+ school projects for Madiba”. Its aim was to provide infrastructural assistance to at least 94 South African schools, in occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday, through a joint effort with local private companies.

Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project in South Africa answered such call by fully renovating the premises, including the sports facilities, of the Japie Greyling Primary School (later renamed Randvaal Primary School), a rather extensive peri-urban educational complex not far from our Walkerville plant.

Thanks to this project, the school: was able to significantly increase the number of students enrolled, which were about 250, before the start of the initiative, and currently are about three times as many; has been equipped to accommodate also special needs pupils; has been given a canteen where government programs supporting nutrition for local children can be held.

In 2017, a Primary Health Care Centre was built at our Walkerville plant.

This facility allows to:

1. strengthen and improve the assistance provided to our workforce in the field of occupational health care;

2. offer to our workers medical assistance services in the field of preventive health care and general medicine;

3. extend the access to the aforementioned services to the children and, more generally, to the family members of our employees.

Primary Health Care Centre at Walkerville plant