Over the past five months, the Proud of my Town (PoMT) programme has invested over R1 million towards a host of relief and recovery interventions in 13 communities across seven provinces.
Ranyaka has been rolling out the multi-faceted PoMT programme in a growing number of towns since 2017. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the reallocation of PoMT resources towards assisting vulnerable communities, local municipalities and relief organisations working in the towns where the programme is being implemented.
In practical terms, these interventions included:
The distribution of over 1000 food parcels and vouchers to vulnerable families and food banks;
The sanitizing of public spaces;
The donation of 1000 hand sanitizers to schools;
Assisting with the setting up of two shelters for the homeless;
The support of 68 Early Childhood Development centres;
The sponsorship of airtime and data to community workers aiding with relief efforts;
The development of a food relief distribution and database system;
The development of an Enterprise Support Initiative to assist 66 micro-entrepreneurs in three provinces
The donation of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Starter Kits to ECD centres.
Supporting ECD centres
Acknowledging the vital role that the ECD sector fulfils in providing safe spaces where children can receive education, nutrition and support, PoMT donated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to the combined value of over R110 000 to assist 50 ECD centres in the Western Cape and North-West provinces to reopen their doors safely. This intervention brings the total investment in ECD by Nedbank’s PoMT programme alone over the past three years to over R1 million.
The starter kits contain the essential PPE, infrared thermometers and sanitizing supplies, as well as educational posters and a Covid-19 protocol file to ensure that these centres comply with the regulations as stipulated by the Department of Social Development (DSD).
In addition, the principals received basic training and orientation to assist them in preparing their centres for reopening and maintaining protocols once their children are back in their care. Last week, another seven ECD centres in Boitekong township, Rustenburg received infrared thermometers, full Covid-19 protocol files, educational posters and training.
Tackling the challenge together
The COVID-19 pandemic and unintended consequences of a hard lockdown has had a particularly damaging impact on communities with pre-existing vulnerabilities. We all realise that COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. It has both highlighted and exacerbated the socio-economic challenges facing our country.
“Bringing restoration and building renewed resilience cannot be the task of government or the non-profit sector alone. We need a multi-sectoral approach and Nedbank’s PoMT initiative is a prime example of how the corporate sector could fulfil an essential role.” – Johan Olivier, Ranyaka director
The power of local networks
The PoMT interventions to date have also demonstrated the immense power of having strong local networks in place in order to activate community members and local networks at extremely short notice to participate in relief efforts.
In every community where PoMT worked to bring relief and recovery, the project team worked hand-in-hand with community forums, municipalities, NGOs and other local stakeholders to ensure maximum impact, activate local resources and avoid duplication of efforts. Facilitating collaboration amongst local roleplayers and assisting communities to self-organise are key principles of the PoMT model and even more crucial in times of crisis where the need is pressing and resources are extremely limited.
“This year, we truly witnessed the power of connection in a time of distancing; collaboration in a time of isolation and despite lockdown, the unlocking of new networks.” – Johan Olivier, Ranyaka director
Opportunities to learn and grow
Despite the destruction it has left in its wake, the global COVID-19 crisis has, at the same time, afforded the PoMT team the opportunity to explore and develop even more innovative ways of tackling community transformation, restoration and much-needed resilience through previously untapped channels.
“Proud of my Town is part of Nedbank’s ongoing commitment to the well-being and positive socio-economic development of communities across South Africa. We have learned so much over the past five years, working with local change agents.” – Nina Wellsted, Nedbank’s Head of Socio-Economic Development, Retail
Where we work
PoMT is currently active in 13 communities in 9 towns across seven provinces in South Africa. These towns and townships are: Mamelodi-East, Tshwane (Gauteng), Boitekong, Rustenburg (North-West), Mankweng, Polokwane (Limpopo), Kanyamazane, Nelspruit (Mpumalanga), Magaliesburg (Gauteng), Stellenbosch (Western Cape), Paarl (Western Cape), Zwide, Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape) and currently launching, Umlazi township in KwaZulu-Natal.