Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming more central to the success of corporations, and its importance within South Africa is pertinent given that the transition from apartheid has yet to be followed by an equalling of society, with social and economic divisions persisting. As one of the most emotive basic human rights, health care provision remains unequal, with the private sector still serving an historically advantaged minority and the public sector carrying the burden of the populist majority. This study explored the role the of the private health care sector in light of the growing importance of CSR, against the backdrop of the national health insurance debate and the understanding of the role the private sector can play in achieving the national health care objectives. Exploratory research and qualitative analysis methodology were carried out for this research, utilising in-depth semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with ten private health care sector executives. Whilst the private sector executives intellectually understood their specific context and a growing expectation of society from business, in practice the actions of CSR were still grounded in philanthropic activities. Most respondents acknowledged that more should and could be done, with the primarily obstacle being identified as a lack of teamwork and coordination across businesses in the private sector. The public sector is seen as failing, and the private sector sees itself playing a more active role in service delivery and aiding government with the training of the much needed skills within the public sector.