[Mossel Bay, South Africa, 28 July 2020] It is customary for Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day with several initiatives and programmes annually.
As South Africa heads for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Mossel Bay’s re-strategised approach for 2020 still ensured that surrounding communities benefitted from its commemorative activities, which included donations of food parcels, masks and sanitisers.
On 28 July 2020, the port responded to the global call to support frontline healthcare workers by donating 3000 surgical masks and 225 litres of hand sanitisers to three Mossel Bay community healthcare facilities namely, Eyethu, Asla and Alma clinics.
The donations were well received by the beneficiaries. “The Port of Mossel Bay has considered the local Provincial Hospital on a number of occasions and we highly appreciate the support. Thank you for casting a stone towards the fight against COVID-19, we are certain that this donation will provide the much-needed protection and relief to most of our healthcare workers,” said Dr Jaco Botma, Medical Manager: Mossel Bay Sub-District.
A donation of 40 food parcels will also be made to families in need in and around Kwa-Nonqaba in partnership with an NPO known as the Kwa-Nonqaba Meals on Wheels Community Service and the Department of Social Development on 31 July 2020. Some of the families, who’ll receive home deliveries, include existing beneficiaries of the Meals on Wheels soup kitchen while others include those whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Chairperson of the Kwa-Nonqaba Meals on Wheels Community Service, Zingisile Hobongwana, said, “Collaborative efforts such as these play a critical role towards eradicating poverty in our communities. These food parcels help to cushion community members from the harsh realities of poverty and unemployment. We wish to thank Transnet and the Port of Mossel Bay for choosing us a partner in this venture.”
Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange said “We will take food parcels to each household, not only to mitigate the associated risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 but to also set an example in the community that rules such as social distancing should always be adhered to in order to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
“We would not be able to achieve all our operational and customer service excellence targets without the community’s support. It is through the achievement of these milestones that we can play our role as a responsible corporate citizen by responding to the burdens of our immediate community. There is no better time to take #ACTIONAGAINSTPOVERTY than a time like this, when the globe commemorates Nelson Mandela International Day and battles a pandemic,” he said.
Tshikalange made special mention of frontline workers, who are the hope of the nation. “Without the commitment, dedication and sacrifices made by frontline workers, South Africa would be in a far worse position. Therefore, it is our duty to support them. Thank you to all front liners who have sacrificed time with their families to provide essential services during this difficult period. We salute you for continuing to have a positive mind-set and being the backbone of our community and country.” he said.
Port of Mossel Bay Port Manager Shadrack Tshikalange with Dr Jaco Botma, Medical Manager: Mossel Bay Sub-District.