As people, businesses, and communities in flood ravaged KwaZulu Natal face the difficult process of recovering from the devastating events of the past week, they need all the help and support they can get from their fellow South Africans.
Nedbank has stepped up to do its share by donating a total of R1 million in support of the ongoing relief and recovery efforts taking place across the province.
The donation, which was delivered through the bank’s main corporate social investment arm, the Nedbank Foundation, includes R500 000 provided to Gift of the Givers to enable the immediate provision of food, water and healthcare to families and communities.
A further R500 000 has been given to various organisations and projects that are working to rebuild education institutions and small enterprises, many of which experienced overwhelming losses.
According to Poovi Pillay, Executive Head for Corporate Social Investment at Nedbank, the bank immediately and deliberately chose to leverage the partnerships it already has in place in the province as a way of maximising the positive practical impact of its financial support.
“We know that to have the maximum impact in the communities we serve, the best approach is to leverage key localised partnerships,” Pillay explains, “so we have provided this monetary input as a way of enabling the good work being done by so many organisations to restore stability to the areas and communities most in need.”
He says that the R1m donation is the bank’s way of tangibly delivering on its purpose to do good. “It is in times of great social need, that the importance and value of being a purpose-driven organisation become most clearly apparent,” he explains, “which is why Nedbank has not hesitated to give effect to its purpose.”
In addition to the financial support, Nedbank has encouraged its employees to help in whatever way they can, whether through donating to the bank’s dedicated KZN Flood Relief account or, for those in the province, by providing whatever practical help and support they can within their communities.
Donations to the flood relief account are being disbursed to the Humanitarian Empowerment Fund (HEF), which is enabling rescue operations, food security, infrastructure restoration, and providing practical recovery tools and support for individuals, families, and communities
“The property damage, human displacement, trauma and loss of life caused by the floods in KZN is undoubtedly a test of the resolve and resilience of all those impacted by the disaster,” Pillay says,” but it is also a reminder of the spirit of Ubuntu that runs through our nation, and that prompts us all to come together in the face of adversity, and act quickly and decisively to support each other to build back stronger, together.”
He also emphasises that, while the immediate priority for all South Africans is to help those impacted by the floods, the disaster is also a reminder of the importance of working together to help address the risks of climate change in the long term.
“The flooding that we have seen in KZN in recent days offers painful evidence of the devastating human toll that extreme weather events can have,” he says, “which is why it is not only vital that South Africans come together to help and support those who are affected by this disaster, but also to collectively do everything we can to address climate change and thereby reduce the likelihood of future increases in the occurrence and severity of such weather-driven catastrophes. Nedbank remains committed to leading the way in these collaborative climate change mitigation efforts.”