JOHANNESBURG – Sappi Southern Africa has donated R1 million to the humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers to support them in the relief efforts for KwaZulu-Natal flood victims.
At least 341 people in the province have lost their lives in the unprecedented storms.
More than 300 of those who have died were in the eThekwini (Durban) district.
Papermaker Sappi said they had been moved by the plight suffered by many in the greater KZN community.
Sappi Southern Africa chief executive Alex Thiel said they were making the contribution to give “meaningful and immediate support to the affected people”.
“We chose the Gift of the Givers, because we have been continually impressed by this organisation that works so tirelessly in providing relief to communities; not only when disaster strikes, but consistently on an ongoing basis”, said Thiel.
“Our condolences go out to the families of those in various communities who have lost loved ones.
“In addition to this devastating loss of life, many more people have been displaced, losing their homes and valued possessions.
“These conditions have been further exacerbated by power outages and no water supply in some areas,” he added.
Sappi said the funds were expected to provide support for immediate emergency life-saving efforts, including food and clothing.
The company said it was also putting systems in place for donations of food, blankets and clothing to be delivered to local organisations such as The Robin Hood Foundation and The Angel Network.
The company added that it would begin talks with local authorities to assist in the rebuilding of homes and infrastructure in the KZN province.