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WATCH | Gift of the Givers strikes water in Nelson Mandela Bay

Big businesses open their wallets to ramp up Bay’s response to supply crisis

A Gift of the Givers drilling team has found water at Alpha Primary School in Gelvandale, in the Bay’s northern areas
HITTING PAYDIRT: A Gift of the Givers drilling team has found water at Alpha Primary School in Gelvandale, in the Bay’s northern areas

The cash injection came as the non-government organisation struck water at Alpha Primary School, in Gelvandale, on Thursday.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has also committed to share its plans and resources and co-ordinate its efforts to address the metro’s water emergency with Gift of the Givers.

Alpha Primary is the first of 10 sites across the Bay earmarked for a borehole.

“We struck water at 180m. Deeper drilling continues,” the Gift of the Givers foundation said on its Facebook page.

Alpha Primary principal Dr Charlotte Hendricks said the school body was “very grateful for the blessing”.

Earlier this week, Sunfoil, the maker of Sunflower oil, donated R5m for emergency water relief in Gqeberha to the disaster relief non-governmental organisation.

The donation was made after a passing conversation between Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman and the Moosa family at an industry function on June 10.

The family owns the Willowton Group, owner of the Sunfoil brand.

When it became apparent that Gift of the Givers planned to send borehole equipment to the city, a commitment was made by the company owners.

“The speed, commitment and passion of both parties to provide help where it is desperately needed is a wonderful testament to the values of the Willowton Group and underscores the generosity that we South Africans have at our core,” Sooliman said.

Gift of the Givers rolled into town this week on its big-rig machinery to dig at least 10 boreholes across the metro in an effort to assist residents with the ever-worsening water crisis.

Digging of the first borehole at Alpha Primary started on Tuesday, and is part of a strategic plan that Sooliman described as a race against time.

Sooliman and his team had been warmly received by the municipality.

Willowton Group operations executive Mohamed Ishfaaq Moosa said the company’s heart went out to the people of the city.

“As a brand at the heart of these communities, Sunfoil has partnered with the aid organisation to bring urgent relief and hope to the Gqeberha area.

“Our donation is enabling Gift of the Givers to bring in the equipment and manpower needed to drill boreholes for various communities, so that lives and livelihoods can be saved,” he said.

Moosa called on market-leading companies to join Sunfoil and also provide assistance.

“Sunfoil and Gift of the Givers encourages other great SA brands to rally behind this initiative to serve these stricken communities and, in a small but tangible way, repay the loyalty and support they have enjoyed in the past.”

Sooliman also visited Isuzu Motors SA in the city on Wednesday.

The company supports Gift of the Givers with trucks, water tankers and bakkies.

The Isuzu trucks and bakkies are being used for various disaster relief and humanitarian aid work across SA, with some dedicated exclusively to search and rescue purposes.

Sooliman said he was happy with the ongoing partnership and logistical support his organisation received from Isuzu.

“As Gift of the Givers, we always say where there is work to do in improving our communities, Isuzu vehicles are up to the job.

“Our partnership with Isuzu enables us to continue making a difference in far-flung communities and areas that are difficult to reach.”

Sooliman also met  Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive Denise van Huyssteen.

“We have agreed with Gift of the Givers to openly share our plans and resources and co-ordinate our efforts, making the business and civil society response to the water crisis more efficient and effective,” Van Huyssteen said.



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