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American tech giant donates to KZN flood victims, some of whom are still homeless

Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Aug 4, 2022

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Durban – American tech firm GE (General Electric) and its employees have stepped in to help the hundreds of victims of the KwaZulu-Natal floods which devastated the province in April this year.

GE donated R1.6 million ($100 000) and on top of that, its employees will continue to make generous donations through the matching gifts programme (a type of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to non-profit organisations).

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The donation was announced by the US company on Thursday through a press statement. It came at a time when the KwaZulu-Natal government and the eThekwini Municipality are accused of failing to do enough to help resettle all the people who were displaced by the floods that left over 450 people dead and thousands displaced.

Some of the victims even once tried to storm and occupy the Durban City Hall – they were eventually evicted. Others tried to storm an unoccupied Transnet building in Durban and they were evicted after a court order was obtained by the state-owned company.

Linda Boff, the president of GE Foundation, and the vice-president of GE, said the donation was handed over to FoodForward SA, the largest food redistribution organisation in South Africa.

At the height of the floods, the foundation provided an estimated 4 800 people in the flood zones with one meal a day for three weeks.

“We are proud to once again work with FoodForward SA and help South African families in the region continue the road to recovery,” Boff said.

Nyimpini Mabunda, president of GE Southern Africa, said it was critical that GE came through during the times of need for the people of South Africa.

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“South Africa hosts GE’s largest employee base on the continent and has become a key partner in GE Foundation programmes such as Next Engineers. Addressing hunger is critical in the wake of the recent flooding and I’m proud that the GE family is supporting our country in this time of need,” he said.

“FoodForward SA’s mission is to reduce hunger in South Africa by safely and cost-effectively securing quality food, and this grant funding will support the food procurement efforts and preparation needed for the impacted area.”

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