English: Many small, micro- and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) of South Africa in the built environment do not use business social responsibility as a necessary management performance function to market and sustain their businesses. It appears that the implementation of this important management performance function is hampered by a lack of knowledge regarding the important role that business social responsibility plays. Another challenge that is faced is limited financial and human resources. A study was undertaken to investigate and establish the status of SMMEs’ business social responsibility in order to promote an awareness of this management performance function in the community, and on SMMEs’ growth, continuous performance improvement and sustainability. A quantitative comparative design was used to collect primary data from 326 respondents. These respondents were from 64 randomly selected SMMEs in the study area. Structured interviews were used for this purpose. The main findings revealed an underperformance of business social responsibility among the sampled SMMEs. More than a third (39%) of SMMEs had not yet started implementing social responsibility activities in their businesses as opposed to only 7.2% who had high scores of involvement with business social responsibility activities. This low performance confirms the findings of other studies on SMMEs reported in the literature. It is recommended that government policies be designed to support business social responsibility and that all stakeholders promote social responsibility awareness. In addition, it is recommended that reward systems be implemented to recognise SMMEs that implement businesses social responsibility in their communities.