South Africa has been experiencing severe drought across large regions of the country, but corporates and ordinary people have been pitching in with mass drought relief efforts.
In the latest move, Engen Petroleum, a leading South African producer and marketer of fuels, lubricants and oil-based products, handed over a cheque for R1-million to Agri SA, a non-profit organisation that works to build a stable, profitable agricultural environment, for drought relief.
“We understand the negative impact exerted by the current drought on agriculture and we hope that our donation will help to make a small contribution in assisting farmers,” said Mike Stead, Engen’s manager: commercial fuels.
Johannes Möller, the president of Agri SA, said the donation would make a big difference. “For every R1.00 we receive towards the Drought Relief Fund, the value we give back is R5.00, which goes towards farmers, throughput, feeding pellets and similar products.”
Agri SA, a federation of agricultural organisations, was established in 1904 as the South African Agricultural Union. It consists of nine provincial and 24 commodity organisations. Essentially Agri SA, through its affiliated membership, represents a diverse grouping of individual farmers regardless of gender, colour or creed.
MONEY FOR ALL FARMERS
However, Möller stressed that the Drought Relief Fund was not only used for Agri SA members. “The money is also used to support all farmers, whether commercial or emerging farmers. Assistance is also offered to the community.”
Engen has a historical agricultural focus, with one in every two South African farmers depending on the company’s products, local expertise and global technical excellence.
“Engen’s contribution represents another step in our commitment towards supporting those in dire straits in a sector whose value we really understand,” said Stead.
Joe Mahlo, Engen’s general manager of sales and marketing, concurred. “Over the past 40 years we have demonstrated to farmers that ‘with us you are number one’. This has resulted in excellent integrated relationships and working methodologies.
“After all, when it comes to the future, nothing less than a vibrant and brilliantly supported agricultural sector will meet the needs of the economy and all of our people.”
OTHER DROUGHT ASSISTANCE
Shoprite and Checkers customers also helped to raise R200 000 for drought-stricken communities across South Africa over two months since March through the retailers’ Act for Change initiative.
Operation Hydrate, the NGO that has been donating water in drought stricken areas of South Africa, has distributed more than six million litres of water so far. The group aims to collect R95-million worth of water by Nelson Mandela Day this year.
PLAY YOUR PART
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