Leading FMCG group and oil processor, Willowton, handed over R300,000 to fund babycare kits for the victims of last week’s devastating fire at Masiphumelele, south of Cape Town.
Pictured at the handover at the Sanzaf head office in Salt River are (from left to right): Rafeeq McBoneswa, Willowton key accounts manager; Deon Calthorpe, Willowton managing executive; Karriem Booranoodien Sanzaf chairperson Western Cape; Faizel Bardien Sanzaf first deputy chairperson Western Cape; and Shafiek Barendse, Sanzaf Western Cape manager.
The presentation, which took place at the Salt River head office of The South African National Zakáh Fund (Sanzaf), a long standing and respected faith-based, socio-welfare and educational organisation that strives to facilitate the empowerment of needy families through the efficient collection and effective distribution of relief in dire circumstances such as this, has identified the welfare of the 400 babies within the community as one of the greatest needs at present.
The fire, which was fanned by strong winds, razed more than 1,000 shacks in the informal settlement, leaving an estimated 6,000 people destitute. Masiphumelele has been declared a local disaster area by the local government in the Western Cape.
Residents are scrambling to rebuild their homes on the cleared site but are struggling to procure building materials during the run up to Christmas and New Year.
However, according to regional manager of Sanzaf, Shafiek Barendse, while many people and companies have come forward to help fund food, clothing and shelter for adults, the greatest need is now caring for the vulnerable children within the community.
He said that Sanzaf had handed out around 400 baby care kits this week. These would last for a limited period only and the organisation would now be able to hand out a second set of baby care kits thanks to the support of Willowton.
Each babycare kit contains nappies, two face cloths, a baby towel, baby soap, shampoo and baby powder, petroleum jelly, aqueous cream, bottles, baby wipes, bottle steriliser and a pacifier.
Because rebuilding this community would be a long process, he said that Sanzaf would continue to assist families with babies for some time to come.
Zubeir Moosa, chief executive officer of the Willowton Group, said this latest donation by Willowton Group reflected the company’s mission to help those in need through donations to areas where people were experiencing extreme hardship.
“We are invested in the well-being of South Africans and will do all that we can to assist, especially in situations like this where some of the poorest of South Africa’s people have lost all their belongings and their homes. As with most situations like this, women and children are often the most vulnerable but also easily overlooked and we are glad to be able to join with Sanzaf to address this need,” he said.