The South African leg of CEO SleepOut (#CEOsleepoutZA) has launched.
Speaking at the launch, Bernard Fehon, who developed the concept 10 years ago in Australia, said he decided to create the concept to encourage CEOs to look at the difference they can make to the lives of homeless people. He didn’t want them to feast to raise money but to experience what the homeless feel every night. A third of South Africans have inadequate housing.
The event will take place outside the JSE in Sandton – the richest square mile in Africa, on Thursday 18 June 2015 – on what is expected to be one of the coldest nights of the year in South Africa.
Each participant is encouraged to raise R100 000 (about $8 000) for Girls & Boys Town, a government recognised non-profit organisation. For their efforts they will get a sleeping bag and cardboard box for that night.
Fehon told CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch that so far 70 CEOs have entered the challenge - the hope is that 250 will participate.
At the launch Sun International, which has come on board as a partner, revealed that its CEO Graeme Stephens would participate. Its chief strategy and marketing officer Rob Collins nominated City Lodge CEO Clifford Ross to participate; while Primedia CEO Roger Jardine nominated Remgro’s CEO Jannie Durand. Terry Volkwyn, CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, nominated Tiger Brands CEO Peter Matlare.
City Lodge's Ross told CNBC Africa that he has accepted the challenge as he believes in the positive message it is trying to spread. He challenged Tourvest's CEO Tommy Edmond to do the same.