South Africa, 18 July 2014 – Airports Company South Africa has taken the commemorative 67 minutes call to action on Nelson Mandela International Day a step further by embarking on long-term sustainability initiatives that will continue to benefit communities around its airports beyond 18 July.
The company’s participation in Mandela Day activities, which forms part of its on-going Socio-Economic Development Programme, has touched the lives of many people across South Africa today. One of the highlights of this programme is the upcoming launch of Airports Company South Africa’s CEO initiative, which will see 40 computers and a collection of books donated to Mvezo Primary School in the rural Eastern Cape on 24 July 2014.
The flagship event will be attended by Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, Chief Zwelivelile Mandela and a delegation from the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
On this Mandela Day, Airports Company South Africa’s employees participated in various initiatives that were spearheaded by its network of airports.
Earlier today, O.R. Tambo International Airport employees discarded their tools of the trade in exchange for overalls, spades and shovels to improve the living conditions of those less privileged. They handed over a refurbished kitchen to the Entokozweni Nursery School, in Alexandra. The revamped kitchen, which is now equipped with new cupboards, tiled flooring, ceiling, new appliances including a fridge, stove and microwave, will be used to prepare three daily meals for the children. The kitchen will also be used to service the greater community for its numerous outreach programmes.
Employees also planted a vegetable garden and donated seeds to the school to ensure that sufficient and consistent supply of produce is available to feed the over 260 child beneficiaries. Partnerships with Obvious Builders, Gadget Girls and Big 5 also saw the donation of paint, food packs and soccer balls and mugs for the children.
Continuing with its support of Early Childhood Development, employees at Airports Company South Africa’s corporate office enriched the lives of the 184 children at Emmanuel Pre-Primary School in Johannesburg. Employees spent Mandela Day sprucing up the school by painting the school ceiling, planting a garden, cleaning and reading to the learners aged between 0 - 6 years of age. The school is located in the informal settlement of Nquweni in Thembisa.
“The communities around our nine airports are an integral part of our business. Many of our employees have links or are from these communities, hence it only makes sense that we plough back and improve the quality of life of those who are less fortunate. We honour the 67 minutes call to take action by expanding our efforts and inspiring change,” says Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, Spokesperson for Airports Company South Africa.
Meanwhile employees at Cape Town International Airport took eight top performing learners from neighbouring communities to Robben Island to teach them about the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the adversities that he faced. The learners received food packs and jackets during this airport initiative.
Airports Company South Africa’s East London Airport provided nutrition and care to the Salem Baby Care Centre on Mandela Day. Baby bottles and baby blankets will ensure that the children will be kept warm during this winter and will have BPA-free bottles to feed on. A non-profit organization, the Salem Baby Care Centre provides daily care for impoverished mothers and their children.
At Kimberley Airport employees volunteered their services by cleaning a dilapidated home that belongs to a 78 year old grandmother. The activities included fixing her fence, painting and rewiring the electricity. Food items were also donated to the family by Airports Company South Africa staff and their partners.
Employees at George Airport spent their 67 minutes for Mandela Day visiting the George Provincial Hospital Paediatrics Ward where they interacted and handed out gift bags to young patients. The employees also distributed blankets and provided soup to homeless people at George Central.
Port Elizabeth Airport employees devoted the day to cleaning Section C of Dora Nginza Hospital. Situated in Zwide Township in Port Elizabeth, the hospital which provides services to underprivileged communities was in need of intensive cleaning in order to maintain a healthy environment.
As a follow-up to last year’s Mandela Day activities, Airports Company South Africa’s Women Volunteer Programme in partnership with the Association for People with Disabilities (APD) and Kalawa Jazmee will visit Doug Whitehead, a school that caters for children living with disabilities, on 23 July. The parties will donate food, toys and erect a rubber tire vegetable garden. Activities will include play time and interaction with the children, including storytelling, art and crafts. The day will end with a lunch braai for the learners and all invited guests.
On Friday, 25 July, Airports Company South Africa’s Corporate Office will return to JB Matabane located in Ivory Park near Tembisa, to donate funding for the school laboratory and desktops for the school’s administration. JB Matabane is a non-fee paying school and the contribution will benefit 1 311 learners.
“We are proud to have employees who have made community upliftment their personal mission by undertaking life changing initiatives. These selfless gestures have affirmed Airports Company South Africa’s position as a responsible corporate citizen,” concluded Batyashe-Fillis.
For more information, please contact:
Airports Company South Africa Spokesperson
Direct: +27 (0) 11 921 6087
Cell: +27 (0) 79 882 7307