As part of its annual Mandela Day celebrations, Northam Booysendal Platinum mine donated food parcels to struggling families in and around Thaba Chweu Municipality.
The donations were made to more than 100 families on July 16 and 17. At some of the villages, recipients were also handed face masks. The beneficiaries were chosen by the Mpumalanga Department of Social development’s social workers.
On Friday, the management of the mine descended to the Kiwi Farm Community, BBR, Shaga and Bokhapane villages to donate food parcels to the needy community members.
The parcels included maize meal, sugar, rice, cooking oil, juice, tinned fish, beans, washing powder, soups, soaps, nik naks and other basic food items that can help families survive during these trying times.
The handing over of the groceries was completed on July 17 at Rooikrans, Choma Tribal Office, Protea Farm, Boshoek and Draaikraal.
Jack Selowa, Northam Booysendal’s Stakeholder Engagement said the food they were donating for the residents was to help poor community members to have something to eat during the lockdown period. He said this was also part of the mine 67 minutes of doing good to local communities.
“We want our communities not to starve, we saw people looting and doing illegal deeds recently but these communities need not resort to crime to get the basic needs. The foods can last the families for a month or even two months”.
He indicated that the past two years had been difficult due to Covid-19.
“We are all affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations but we find it befitting to help our communities to ensure that our most vulnerable are provided for and protected during these difficult times.
“We believe in the importance of making a difference in the communities which we operate in and this initiative also gives us an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with our key stakeholders.”
He added, “We urge locals to keep safe, adhere to the lockdown regulations implemented by the government and to always maintain a good personal hygiene as advised by public health experts.
“Booysendal indeed cares about the needs of our communities.”
Patrick Phetla, a community leader at BBR said they were grateful for what the mine has done to local communities.
“ We have the neediest people in our area and we believe the food parcels donated today will assist our families in the upcoming months. These are proper groceries, they have all items we need in our households. There is nothing missing from what they gave us, we are indeed thankful.”
In concluding, Selowa said that Booysendal took the needs of their surroundings communities seriously and the mine was determined to continue giving back to the people.
“As we all know that Madiba dedicated his life to the kids, the elderly and disabled, we saw it fitting that Booysendal makes a difference in the lives of these families . Our aim was to put smiles on their faces, and I believe we have achieved that. We will continue to give back to our people,” he said.
According to some of the locals, it was a bonus for them to have a mine of Booysendal’s calibre which is mindful of the needs of the community.
William Makua thanked the mine for its eagerness and endeavor to upgrade the lives of local people in local communities and surrounding areas.