Seven of KwaZulu-Natal’s top retail centre’s – Bluff Towers, Umlazi Mega City, Davenport Square, Pine Walk Centre, Springfield Value Centre, Hayfields Mall and Musgrave Centre – will be delivering much needed PPE (Personal protective equipment) to teachers and pupils at needy schools in the province in commemoration of Mandela Day.
Mark Mac Kaiser, Retail Asset Manager representing SA Corporate Real Estate Limited which owns the centre’s, noted that, with the escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to keep both teachers and learners who had returned to the classroom safe and healthy, Mandela Day 2020 was more important than ever.
“While many of our well to do schools are able to protect learners and educators, many of the schools that serve our poorest communities do not have adequate resources. In July 2018, when our company announced the creation of our SOS Campaign – which stands for Support Our Schools – to help improve the quality of education and provide hope to future generations, we could never have foreseen the arrival of this global pandemic and the massive challenges that it continues to present,” he said.
Through the SOS Campaign, the malls will hand over foot pedal hand sanitizer dispensers for classrooms, masks for kids, and face shields for teachers and posters explaining social distancing requirements. He said that, as part of the SOS Campaign, two years ago, each of the centre’s had chosen a school within its immediate community and continued to build a relationship with the school and support it.
For example, in addition to donating 15 foot pedal dispensers, 800 branded masks and 30 face shields to Collingwood Primary School, Bluff Towers will also provide the school with a R20 000 donation towards long overdue repairs.
This money was raised via a shopper competition at Bluff Towers SOS charity kiosk at the beginning of the year. Those who spent R500 or more at Bluff Towers were encouraged to pop their entries into a box within the mall. The centre donated R5 for each entry received. In addition, proceeds from all sales at the Support Our School (SOS) Charity Kiosk, also went into the school fund together with a R5 from the centre for each shopper who downloaded the SmartMall App during the campaign which ended in March.
Centre Manager at Bluff Towers, Sumaya Goldstone, said that this donation would ultimately assist the 1200 learners between Grades 1 and 7 at Collingwood Primary School even though many remained at home during lockdown. Prefabricated classrooms that had been damaged during heavy rains as well as ablutions and playground facilities which were in disrepair could now begin to be repaired.
Musgrave Centre with Pick n Pay will donate 400 face masks, 300 disposable gloves, 3 Jumbo wipers rolls and 200 soaps to Clayton Primary School.
Springfield Value Centre will donate 18 foot pedal dispensers and refills as well as 24 face shields to the Springfield Model Primary while Hayfields Mall in Pietermaritzburg will supply the Hayfields Primary School with 10 foot pedal dispensers, 200 branded masks and 24 face shields.
Umlazi Mega City, which plays a significant role in the local township economy, will hand over a total of 600 Face Masks. 400 will go to the Enaleni High School and 200 to the Lamontville Primary School. 6 foot pump sanitizers will also be given to partner schools.
Pine Walk Centre will be visiting Vezamafa Primary School for the 3rd consecutive year and providing each of the 210 learners with their own mask and a 100ml bottle of hand sanitizer. Two of the centre’s stores Chicken Licken and African Bank added to the support with their own sponsorship, meals for the teachers from Chicken Licken and R5000 in cash from African Bank.
Davenport Square has arranged for the donation of masks and a 100ml bottle of hand sanitizer to each of the 500 learners of Carrington Heights Primary School. Dirks Butchery, who for years have formed a part of the community couldn’t miss the opportunity to also show their support and have sponsored 2 face shields for each of the 25 teachers and have installed posters throughout the school that remind the children to practice social distancing and good personal hygiene.