NEDBANK has joined the recovery and relief efforts, providing more than R6,4 million to support clean-ups, humanitarian relief and infrastructure rebuilding following the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
According to Poovi Pillay, Executive Head of the Nedbank Foundation, the bank immediately stepped up following the demolition of property and theft to help and support those impacted.
“We are saddened by the recent events and, while the actions of the looters cannot be justified under any circumstances, we also recognise that thousands of innocent people and business owners now find themselves in dire need,” Pillay said.
“We are determined to deliver on our purpose to use our financial expertise to do good by assisting them and supporting the collective efforts to rebuild our country.”
The bank has partnered with the 67CEOs Foundation to help enable its recovery plan for businesses affected by the looting and vandalism. Nedbank also partnered with Gift of the Givers and UNICEF to deliver financial support and on-the-ground assistance to humanitarian relief and small-business-rebuilding efforts.
Other initiatives supported by Nedbank include the bank’s leveraging its existing Cashbuild and Boxer retail partnerships to extend financial assistance to businesses that need to rent premises or equipment to continue operating or that need construction materials to repair their damaged buildings.
On Sunday, 18 July, the bank also began distributing over 3 000 food parcels to its own employees and contractors in KwaZulu-Natal who have been severely affected by the unrest.
Pillay says that in some cases colleagues of these employees even drove the 600 kilometres from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal themselves to drop off these essential food packages. The bank also funded a community-based bakery in Pietermaritzburg to help increase the supply of essential food items in local communities, particularly old-age and frail-care homes.
Pillay says that he has been inspired by the fact that Nedbank employees have been at the forefront of the bank’s response over the past two weeks, with many Nedbankers joining communities and business owners to clean up the affected areas and provide food, clothing and shelter to families.
“Employees can help in various ways. Those who have not been able to help physically with cleaning and rebuilding efforts have shown their support financially, with many Nedbankers donating to the Nedbank relief fund
“Our Nedbank Foundation has also partnered with various civil society organisations in the affected regions and is working closely with the Proud of My Town initiative in its Operation Restoration efforts.”
Pillay added: ‘We have been greatly encouraged by the evidence of just how united most South Africans still are, and how caring citizens of our country are in joining hands and cleaning up, helping the vulnerable, and starting the process of rebuilding.”