Strate Charity Shares marks first decade by cracking the R2-m mark

Strate Charity Shares, the innovative initiative designed to mop up small holdings of unwanted JSE-listed shares, is poised to breach the R2 million donations mark.

Since its inception ten years ago, Strate Charity Shares (SCS) has raised and donated R2 million to a variety of needy causes, among them African Children Feeding Scheme, Bethany House Trust, Child Welfare South Africa, Child Welfare Tshwane,The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Hospice and the World Wildlife Fund.

“We experience much gratification from each payment we are able to make from SCS,” says Monica Singer, CEO of Strate, South Africa’s Central Securities Depository.

The funds contributed to SCS are derived from share donations by investors, often in the form of a small holding of shares or odd-lot paper share certificates, which SCS then aggregates, dematerialises and sells. Lost share certificates and unclaimed dividends may also be donated.

Tom Wixley, SCS chairman, explains the motivation: “The cost of selling such shares frequently exceeds their value, but because of the generosity of Strate, Computershare, PSG and others we are able to get the fulll value free of cost.  Hence, by donating those shares to charity, investors not only rid themselves of assets that are little more than nuisance value but they contribute toward the upliftment of the nation’s less fortunate.

”The win-win situation presented by SCS is raising substantial sums of money, thereby offering charitable bodies a source of funds that would not otherwise have been available to them.”

SCS continues to solicit donations from investors.

“The co-operation of all CSD (Central Securities Depository) Participants, brokers and transfer secretaries in assisting in the donation processing is greatly appreciated, as is the pivotal role that Strate has played in running the scheme,” says Wixley.

Even so, he believes considerably more could be done to create a greater awareness of the initiative, which he regards as one of the nation’s most remarkable CSI initiatives in that it aids donors as well as beneficiaries.

In addition, SA Revenue Services allows the value of any shares donated to be deducted from taxable income, as the scheme is registered under section 18A of the Income Tax Act.

The benefits arising from this concession are substantial. For a holder paying tax at the top rate of 40% a donation of shares valued at R2 000 will result in:

  • The nominated charity receiving R2000: and
  • The donor reducing his/her tax liability by R800.

“The co-operation of all banks, brokers and transfer secretaries in assisting in the donation processing is greatly appreciated,” says Wixley.

SCS donations can be made through the investor’s stockbroker or by contacting theSCS toll-free helpline on 0800 202 363 or +27 11 506 4713 if you are phoning outside South Africa.

Issued on behalf of Strate by Meropa Communications