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R3.5 m to aid in drought alleviation

AS the Eastern Cape grapples with the worst drought it has seen in 15 years, R3.5 million committed to the province’s drought relief funds can make a big difference.

Vodacom announced this commitment on October 30, following an 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 an unusual increase in temperatures and scarcity of rain. 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, Nelson Mandela Bay, Joe Gqabi District and the OR Tambo District Municipalities.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer: corporate affairs for Vodacom Group, said, “In our engagements with Premier Mabuyane, we expressed a desire to partner with the Eastern Cape government in tackling the current challenges in the water sector.

“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.”

The R3.5 million 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. – REPORTER

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