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Sovereign Foods donates over R200 000 to Nelson Mandela Bay charities

FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Sovereign Foods donates over R200 000 to Nelson Mandela Bay charities

Uitenhage-based poultry producer donates over R200,000 to community programmes in Nelson Mandela Bay and this includes assistance with the tuition of two university students in 2016.

KwaNobuhle-based Lukhanyiso Child and Youth Care Centre, is one of the proud recipients of a funding injection from integrated poultry producer Sovereign Foods. The care centre is a safe haven for 50 orphans and vulnerable youth, aged 3 to 17 years, who come from dysfunctional households. The R36,200 donation received at yesterday’s handover in Uitenhage, will be used to construct a boundary wall.

Pumla Bucwa who heads up the care centre’s operations explained that “without a boundary wall, it was an additional obstacle for being eligible to register as a non-profit organisation (NPO) with the South African Social Services Agency.”

“Now with funding for the boundary wall secured, we can focus on other prerequisites for becoming a registered NPO,” Bucwa said.

Another beneficiary of the company’s corporate social investment programme is Joe Slovo-based community crèche, Zoey’s Little Lamp. The crèche, provides day care and educational support to over 90 children from ages 2 to 6 years.

The R30,000 donation was a welcome boost for the crèche which has a long standing relationship with the company, having received support from Sovereign Foods since 2004 for the upkeep of the crèche’s premises and continues to receive weekly supply of chicken products.

“The donation will be used to increase teacher salaries and also fund the maintenance of the premises”, said an elated Allen Verreynn, Zoey’s Little Lamp Coordinator.

“This additional funding proves that they [the company] are committed to the upliftment of our community,” he added. 

In addition to supporting community programmes, Sovereign Foods is also helping two students from KwaNobuhle with tuition fees and accommodation costs in 2016. As such, Sonwabile Klaas was the fortunate matriculant from the class of 2015 who qualified for the support and has since been able to enrol for a Bachelor of Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Busisiwe Boltina is the other bursary recipient who is continuing with her second year of social sciences at the University of Fort Hare.

Sovereign Foods’ Group Executive – Human Resources Thuto Maepa, explained that the company has identified education as one of the key focus areas for its corporate social responsibility programme. 

“Last year, the company supported three other students with university funding,” explained Maepa. 

“While we [as the company] have a bold outlook for achieving the highest net margin amongst South African poultry companies, we are also committed to being an active corporate citizen by making a positive contribution to destitute and previously disadvantaged individuals, with no prospects of an income, by providing basic needs and education support. 

“Hence we have adopted an integrated corporate social responsibility programme into the culture of the company, which not only sees the company playing a part in the upliftment of surrounding communities; but encourages employees to make donations and give off their time to community development beneficiaries,” Maepa said. 

Other beneficiaries of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme include Bethelsdporp-based WE CARE which offers healthcare services and also runs an old age home; Sonwabise Community Development which operates a home for abandoned children; KwaNobuhle Victim Support Centre; and Early Church Movement’s soup kitchen programme. 

Image: Sovereign Foods’ Group Executive – HR Thuto Maepa (right) hands over cheque to Pumla Bucwa (left) and children residing at the Lukhanyiso Child and Youth Care Centre.