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Durban’s Chatsworth shopping centre has been globally acknowledged by the International Council of Shopping Centres for a community project initiated by the centre management to raise awareness among school children of the serious effects of drug use.
The centre, which is owned by Sanlam Life Insurance and managed by JHI Properties, won the council’s Solal Marketing Award. The awards recognise the most effective retail marketing campaigns across Europe and SA.
The council presented the prestigious award to the centre for Sugars, The Bitter Truth, a comic book addressing the dangers of “sugars”, the street name given to a drug which is a highly addictive and lethal combination of heroin and cocaine.
With the assistance of the Chatsworth Anti-Drug Forum and Primedia Lifestyle, the centre decided to take action and created a comic book to raise awareness of the devastating impact the drug is having in the community.
“As managers of Chatsworth Shopping Centre and together with Sanlam Life Insurance and Primedia Lifestyle, JHI Properties is proud to receive this recognition from such a highly respected global organisation. It is testament to the centre’s close involvement in the local community and desire to make a difference,” said Rob Moran, the KwaZulu-Natal regional director of JHI Properties.
Rubecca Khan, a portfolio manager for JHI Properties, said the sugars comic book was initiated in 2010 and launched in August that year. “The first edition comprised 20 000 copies and was distributed to some 45 primary schools in the Chatsworth and Shallcross communities… To date five editions of the comic book have been produced and distributed, with each edition on a different theme but all related to the drugs issue.
“The centre is also looking at producing actual costume characters of those featured in the comic books and conducting road shows at schools, to bring the message to life and further increase awareness,” she said.