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Spirit of Ubuntu: businesses back flood relief efforts

Home Business Management Disaster Management Spirit of Ubuntu: businesses back flood relief efforts

WITH communities across KwaZulu-Natal still struggling to recover from the devastating floods, businesses are stepping in to assist with donations to relief efforts.

Sasol’s R7,5 million contribution is one of the most sizeable. Executive Vice President: Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations, Charlotte Mokoena, said, “Our donation will be channelled through one of our partners, the Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA), to facilitate and coordinate the disbursement of funds to various vetted relief agencies that are providing active on the ground disaster support in the province.”

She added that the company was working closely with the provincial government, district municipalities and the eThekwini Municipality.

“A portion of our donation will be released with immediacy for provision of necessities such as food, clothing, mattresses and blankets, while the remaining funds will go towards rebuild efforts for critical infrastructure such as schools and clinics.”

Several of Sasol’s employees in KwaZulu-Natal have also suffered bereavements and damage to property. To support them, the company has implemented a “special care package”, which includes special leave dispensation, salary advancement and leave encashment options to provide immediate relief and assistance.

Sibaya Community Casino and Sibaya Community Trust Chairman Vivian Reddy has urged more businesses to come together to offer humanitarian aid to the flood victims as speedily as possible, backing the call with a R2.5-million donation to flood relief.

R500 000 went to the Gift of the Givers Foundation, whom he said were “on the ground working tirelessly and had full knowledge of the extent of the disaster and the areas most needing help”.

The other R2 million was directed to the Premier’s Schools Project to help assist in rebuilding and renovations for flood damaged schools.

“A rich person is poor if they do not share their wealth to uplift the less fortunate among us,” Reddy said.

The Gift of the Givers was also the beneficiary of a R1-million donation from Sappi Southern Africa.

“We chose the Gift of the Givers, because we have been continually impressed by this organisation that works so tirelessly in providing relief to communities; not only when disaster strikes but consistently on an ongoing basis”, said CEO Alex Thiel.

The company has also put systems in place for personnel to contribute towards two other local organisations – The Robin Hood Foundation and The Angel Network – by dropping off items like non-perishable, food, clothing, blankets at collection points at their business units.

Sappi will also partner with the authorities in the rebuilding of homes and infrastructure in the province.

The Gift of the Givers was entrusted with a further R500 000 donation from Nedbank via the bank’s main corporate social investment arm, the Nedbank Foundation. A further R500 000 has been given to various organisations and projects that are working to rebuild education institutions and small enterprises.

Poovi Pillay, Executive Head for Corporate Social Investment at Nedbank, said they deliberately chose to leverage the partnerships it already has in place in the province as a way of maximising the positive practical impact of its financial support.

“The property damage, human displacement, trauma and loss of life caused by the floods in KZN is undoubtedly a test of the resolve and resilience of all those impacted by the disaster. But it is also a reminder of the spirit of Ubuntu that runs through our nation, and that prompts us all to come together in the face of adversity, and act quickly and decisively to support each other to build back stronger, together,” Pillay said.

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