The KAP sani2c is a gruelling three-day, 265-kilometre mountain bike stage race, which takes place in the south-eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa. The event begins on a small sheep farm near the country’s mother of all mountain passes, the Sani Pass in the southern Drakensberg. It then makes its dramatic way through tough terrain, descending and climbing through the mighty Umkomaas Valley, through the hushed silence of vast tracts of plantation forestry, all the way to the triumphant finish on the beach and the sparkling Indian Ocean.
For 18 years, Sappi has played its part in welcoming the riders in this iconic race to traverse its land and by enabling the event to take place year in and year out. As a company, Sappi’s stated purpose is to unlock the power of trees, to make every day more sustainable. Through these land access agreements, Sappi is also unlocking those spaces between the trees, where riders participating in the event find their joy and indulge in their passion to ride these challenging trails. But far more than this indulgence of a select group of special athletes, are the multiple benefits that are unlocked for the event’s neighbouring communities and the beneficiaries of the KAP sani2c.
The event supports Sappi’s ambition of Creating Shared Value (CSV) in the communities where it operates, ultimately ensuring that the benefits of business – in this case an event – extend as far down the value chain as possible. Shared value initiatives typically aim to help solve socio-economic needs within a community. In this regard, the community beneficiation aims of the KAP sani2C dovetail perfectly with Sappi’s own Trails Programme, which aim to empower communities through adventure-based, recreational tourism activities.
The KAP sani2c business model is highly regarded for its innovative community focus. Since inception, the race has involved and provided for communities, including schools, charities, rural populations and entrepreneurs along the route. Formalised as the sani2c Community Development Trust in 2017, this model underscores the KAP sani2c maxim, More Than A Ride.
For the community, by the community
Every year, 13 communities and 23 schools/charities and environmental groups benefit from the event. For most organisations involved, sani2c is their largest annual fundraiser and sani2c distributes more than ZAR10-million among beneficiaries. This excludes associated income generated by the event for the tourism and hospitality sector in the area. KwaZulu-Natal Tourism estimates sani2c generates more than ZAR50-million per annum for the region and a further ZAR9-million for the country via international competitors.
The benefits of community involvement are not, however, only centred on money. Originating primarily with work undertaken at the race villages, the KAP sani2c has upskilled and employed countless artisans, including builders, tilers, carpenters and plumbers. Read more here: KAP sani2c - For The Community By The Community
With Sappi sharing its boundaries with many of these communities, it is also in our interest and aligned with our aim to help build thriving communities, because in the words of our CEO of Sappi Southern Africa, Alex Thiel – himself a keen rider and sani2C participant: “We aim to add value to our communities by collaborating and partnering with our stakeholders. It is this symbiotic relationship that helps us achieve the exciting and sustainable future which the woodfibre value chain offers to us and our communities.”
Our Sappi Forests’ contractor workers in the Highflats area in southern KZN look forward to the annual KAP sani2c.
Their enthusiastic welcome of the riders is always a highlight on the route: