JOHANNESBURG – Vodacom announces today that it has committed R3, 5 million to the Eastern Cape government’s drought relief funds, aimed at assisting drought-stricken municipalities in Eastern Cape as the province is grappling with the worst drought in 15 years. The commitment follows a productive engagement that Vodacom senior executives had with Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane.
The Eastern Cape provincial government declared the province a drought disaster area early this year. The drought which is in its fifth year is caused by unusual increase in temperatures and scarcity of rain, even during rainy seasons. Experts say this is due to climate change. Some of the worst hit municipalities across the province include: Sarah Baartman, Chris Hani, Amathole, Alfred Nzo, and Nelson Mandela, Joe Gqabi District and the OR Tambo District Municipalities.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group commented:
“In our engagements with the Premier Mabuyane, we expressed a desire to partner the Eastern Cape government in tackling the current challenges in the water sector. As a long-standing partner of government, we prepared a package of interventions and agreed on various streams of collaboration, including immediate humanitarian assistance. As a company with strong local roots, if there’s one thing we are really passionate about at Vodacom, it’s making a difference in society. We’re committed to playing our role as a responsible and good corporate citizen and in doing this and we are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, the National Development Plan and applicable laws.”
Vodacom’s R3.5 Million monetary support will go towards helping Eastern Cape-based municipalities with a very high drought level status, including Mnquma, Mbashe, Ngqushwa and Raymond Mhlaba. The money will go towards drilling and equipping boreholes (handpumps) and the supply of Water Trucks.
“Given where our country finds itself currently, there is a pressing need to forge meaningful partnerships to deepen and accelerate the impact of our collective programmes and help to move the Province and South Africa forward. It is necessary to drive transformational and systematic change towards sustainable development, thus partnerships are a valuable tool to do this in a more responsible, inclusive and sustainable growth, concluded Netshitenzhe.