While the cost of living is set to increase next month with VAT going up from 14 percent to 15 percent, some employees as well as their children and family members are going to pay nothing for medical aid.
This is as the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project has officially opened the doors to its Primary Health Care Centre in Walkerville.
The facility, on the grounds of the Ferrero Production Plant, was officially opened by the Italian Ambassador to South Africa, his Excellency Pietro Giovanni Donnici, Gauteng Health Chief Information Officer, Solly Cave, and Giacomo Ferrero, MD of Ferrero South Africa and Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The health care centre offers medical assistance free of charge to about 400 Ferrero plant staff, their children, and family members.
In the long term, the company hopes to extend the service to disadvantaged families in the wider community.
As one of the world’s biggest chocolate confectionery companies, the family-owned business’ humanitarian and social spirit has been a driving force.
This inspired the creation – in South Africa, Cameroon, and India - of the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project (MFEP). This initiative was previously known as Ferrero Social Enterprises and was later renamed in honour of its founding father, Michele Ferrero who passed away in 2015.
MFEP has a twofold mission: to create jobs in less advantaged areas of emerging economies to fight the serious consequences of unemployment and; implement humanitarian and social projects aimed at safeguarding the health, education and social development of children and young people in the communities where the Project operates.
To this purpose, each company engaged in the MFEP commits itself to create a local Social Fund utilised on a three-year basis to fund social initiatives, regardless of whether the company succeeds in making a profit or not.
The Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project – South Africa has been operating in the country since 2006.
In 2009, the construction of a modern processing plant in Walkerville further contributed in alleviating the unemployment in this community.
“Thanks to the new Primary Health Care Centre at the Walkerville plant, we will be able to strengthen and better the mandatory occupational health care services which were previously provided to our workers at a small infirmary within our plant. At the same time,
and more importantly, we will be dispensing primary health care services that will be accessible not only to our workers, but also to their children and family members. This way, the scope of this project extends beyond the perimeter of our plant and seeks to benefit, more broadly, the local community at large,” says Emiliano Camerlengo, Director of the Walkerville plant.
In the past, the Michele Ferrero Entrepreneurial Project in South Africa supported the Salesian project ‘Love Matters’, residential seminars run at the Don Bosco Centre in Walkerville aimed at raising awareness on HIV prevention, that were attended by over 600 young people.
It also contributed in improving educational facilities within the Walkerville community by fully renovating the local Japie Greyling School, a primary school recently renamed Randvaal Primary School.
This project, implemented in close collaboration with the South African Ministry of Basic Education, was part of its ‘94+ School Projects for Madiba’ Programme.