BMW Group South Africa and its KZN retailer partners support communities stricken by the KZN floods with R2.6m donation

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In the aftermath of the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in April, hundreds of lives have been lost and thousands of people – including children – have been displaced or left unaccounted for.

 

 

The losses and suffering of the floods are of a manner unseen in recent South African history.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has subsequently declared the floods a national state of disaster.

BMW Group South Africa extends its deepest condolences to the people and their families affected by the catastrophic downpours and left in painful limbo. The floods have resulted in extensive damage to houses, businesses, roads and water, electricity, rail and telecommunications infrastructure in KZN. Disaster management teams continue to work tirelessly to assist residents across the province, in highly commendable feats.

BMW Group South Africa, together with its retail partners in KZN, joined and embraced all efforts towards the humanitarian mission of assisting the victims of the floods. A total of R2,6m was contributed towards immediate relief efforts, including a R1m donation by BMW Group South Africa to the Gift of the Givers Foundation. This donation was made towards relief work to ensure that all affected by the disaster receive the necessary aid. The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster relief organisation in Africa with vast experience and success. BMW Group South Africa trusts that the funds allocated in this collaboration will improve the circumstances of the victims.

 

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Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group South Africa commented,

“The KZN floods are a natural disaster with heart-breaking repercussions for the lives and livelihoods of residents in the province and South Africans at large. In devastations especially beyond our collective control, it is important that we promptly join hands and create the relevant responses and support. Our commitment to South Africa is heartfelt and continuous, and our donation to the Gift of the Givers Foundations is evidence. The work that the foundation does during this time is vital, and we must ensure that their efforts are sustained and ultimately, the humanity of our people, preserved.”      

 

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The current conditions of KZN have the potential to aggravate the socio-economic climate of South Africa, particularly in the context of a people still recovering from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Port of Durban is one of the largest and most industrious shipping terminals in Africa, playing a significant role in the South African economy. The port has been greatly affected during this disaster – access to it was disrupted due to the damage of Bayhead Road, which connects the Durban Port Operations to the rest of the country. Some lanes of the road have been restored and repairs to the remainder of the canal bridge are ongoing. The Port of Durban is also a part of BMW Group South Africa’s port export model and facilitates the increased production of BMW vehicles for the export market. The disaster has implications that reach the doors of the BMW Group South Africa business.

BMW Group South Africa recognises and applauds the individual and organisational initiatives undertaken in response to the disaster. The group’s retail partners in KZN have also answered the call for humanitarian assistance.

 

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The Supertech Group, a BMW dealership in Pinetown has donated non-perishable food, warm clothing and drinking water to stricken communities. Chairman, Shabir Tayob commented,

“We could never have anticipated the magnitude of the devastation from the floods that have left several lives overturned. We deeply empathise with all those affected and hope that our response to the crisis will assist in important ways.”

 

The company’s ongoing efforts also encourage those in need to visit the dealership to fill their containers with clean water from a recently installed borehole. Supertech Group has also partnered with Abu Baker for their annual blanket drive that will provide blankets, warm clothes and essential items.

 

SMG BMW Motorrad in Umhlanga has committed to assisting affected employees and various organisations with their KZN Humanitarian Flood Relief efforts. Managing Director of SMG, Sean McCarthy commented,

“When disaster struck, especially on our own shores, we immediately stood to attention. It was important that we created a haven for all the people and families affected – both internally and through collaboration. We hope that our work and that of the many other teams and organisations involved in this co-ordinated effort, can provide some solace for the victims of this tragedy.”

 

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The company’s initiatives include ongoing food, water, monetary or equipment donations to:

  • Staff
  • Medi Response
  • Brenda’s K9 Unit and Search and Rescue Teams
  • The Robin Hood Foundation
  • Molweni Community
  • Siyajabula Children’s Home
  • East Coast Radio and the Gift of the Givers fundraising drive

 

The destruction and devastation are immense and the road to recovery is long. The lives and well-being of several communities remain at risk. A massive and concerted effort that effectively uses institutional and human resources is required.

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BMW Group South Africa remains a proactive investor in and contributor to the safeguarding of South Africa, committed to rebuilding from this disaster.

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