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Valuable partnerships are making impactful changes in Mpumalanga

The seeds of change were planted just over a year ago and now the time has come to reap the rewards.

Towards the end of 2017, special risk insurer Sasria SOC LTD joined hands with Santam on a noble quest to bring about positive change to the residents of Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga.

“We are so pleased to announce that the first of the four projects have come to fruition,” said Fareedah Benjamin, Executive Manager of Insurance Operations at Sasria.

Encouraged to air their views on issues pertaining to services and other socio-political concerns, the results of a year-long assessment revealed that residents shared a common discontent.

The community members highlighted their frustration with the state of their roads, a lack of youth centres, the treatment they received from clinic staff as well as poor public engagement by their councillors.

With a specific focus on Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge Local Municipalities – which fall under Ehlanzeni – the two insurance giants rolled up their proverbial sleeves with the aim of turning those unhappy sentiments around.

The result was the birth of four programmes, namely, a resource facility for young learners, the repairing of potholes within Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge, a customer care programme for clinic staff plus a community engagement programme for councillors and officials. These projects fall under Santam’s Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) programme, an initiative started with the aim of capacitating municipalities to better deal with flood and fire risks.

“Two fully refurbished youth centres will be handed over to their respective communities on Wednesday the 28th and Thursday 29th of August 2019. The first is the AginCourt Youth Facility which is situated in Bushbuckridge and the second, Thusong Youth Facility, is in Lydenburg. We hope these handovers will be a catalyst for change in these communities.”

Services that will be provided at these centres include health education and lifeskills training. These facilities, set up to benefit youth in high school and unemployed youth will see 18 laptops with internet connection, split between the two facilities to assist young with school projects, job searches, typing of CV’s and job skills training.

According to Benjamin, Sasria received a substantial amount of claims from these areas.

“A part of the reason we got involved is to try to become part of the solution,” she said.

Details of the two handovers are as follows:

AginCourt Youth Facility

  • Venue: AginCourt Regional Office, AginCourt, Bushbuckridge
  • Date: 28 August 2019
  • Time: 11am

Thusong Youth Facility

  • Venue: Thusong Service Centre, Lydenburg
  • Date: 29 August 2019
  • Time: 11am