Beefmaster Group, a specialist beef producer based in Kimberley, is set to invest R1.2 million into community initiatives this year in Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Christiana.
R1.2m boost to communities
Louw van Reenen, CEO, says in the President’s recent State of the Nation Address, he called on South Africa to not only defeat the coronavirus, but also overcome poverty, hunger, joblessness and inequality.
“While these may just be words to some, for Beefmaster Group, a leading business based in the Kimberley area, this has long been a commitment it has made, and proven with action, to the communities it serves.”
Van Reenen says the group will be investing R1.2 million during the 2021 year in communities in need in and around the Christiania, Kimberley and Bloemfontein areas. The group decided to increase its investment by 70% this year in improving the socio-economic conditions of impoverished areas, given the dire need.
“We saw immense hardship in the areas in which we operated last year, all exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an established business in the area, we have a responsibility to ensure better outcomes for our communities and can play an integral role in providing relief to the problems we collectively face in the areas where our families and that of our staff live, work and go to school,” van Reenen.
Van Reenen says that it is not enough to wait for government to provide solutions, adding that empowering people means providing job security, satisfaction, recognition and opportunities for skills and career development, but this cannot happen in isolation.
“If a man is hungry, he will not be able to make a positive contribution to his community. Similarly, if a child is hungry, no learning can happen in the classroom. This is why it is important to support our people not only at their place of work, but also commit to improving their socio-economic conditions,” says van Reenen.
This was one of the main reasons behind the group’s establishment of a soup kitchen at its Kimberley facility in late 2020. The soup kitchen initiative sees Beefmaster Group feed almost 300 people per day, twice per week.
“Given the overwhelming need exposed by COVID-19 in our vulnerable community, we have decided to continue this initiative in 2021. Ultimately, we hope to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us,” says van Reenen.
During the 2020 year, the company was involved in various other initiatives to either improve the socio-economic profile of the area, or to bring relief to those in in need, many of which are being continued in 2021.
This included being involved in drought relief efforts in and around the farming community of Prieska, who have severely suffered given the lack of adequate rain in the area. Cattle farmers have seen herd sizes depleted and, in some cases, farmers have had to close shop as they watch their animals starve to death. The group has allocated 25% of its spend for the year to support these drought relief efforts.
Fixing roads and potholes
Another initiative that the business was involved in in 2020 includes Slaggat se Gat, in partnership with FiND iT nuus, which aims to improve the condition of public roads in Kimberley. This year Beefmaster Group has committed to increase its contributions to the project to R100 000, as well as match all donations made by the public.
The company also donated nutritious food in the form of meat amounting to over R300 000 to close on 20 organisations in need in and around the Christiana, Kimberley and Bloemfontein areas during 2020; favourably contributing to alleviating hunger and food security. This will continue in 2021 and form part of the company’s committed investment.
Helped Yonder Centre for Adults
Beefmaster Group also sponsored an industrial dishwashing machine to the value of R100 000 for the Yonder Centre for Adults with an Intellectual Disability in Kimberley, which was handed over at the beginning of this year.
“Our communities have been hard hit by economic blows of the pandemic. We hope by continuing with our committed strategy and pre-allocated investment to select initiatives, we can make a real and visible difference to the areas in which we operate,” concludes van Reenen.
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