With the state health system under huge pressure, corporates like PPC can play a role in plugging the gaps for local communities.
Given the health challenges facing the country, and the consequent strains on budgets and staff, it’s no surprise that many smaller health-related projects can fall by the wayside. However, such grassroots projects are vital because they often provide desperately needed help to isolated communities.
“At PPC we are very clear that our corporate social investment initiatives should feed back into the communities in which we trade and those close to our facilities, from which we draw employees and customers. This is our way of rewarding local for buying local. We place a high value on these local projects because they address issues that may be small in the grand scheme of things, but they make a huge difference to the local people’s lives. We always welcome a challenge, to go beyond our call as cement producer,” explains Kobie Botha, Acting Plant Manager, PPC Coastal Region.
An example of this kind of practical help is the partnership between the PPC employees at the PE factory and Sweetheart, a volunteer- and community-based organisation that raises money to buy wheelchairs. PPC employees, have initiated a programme where they collect plastic bottle tops and packaging tags, as part of Sweethearts Tops and Tags initiative. Once 450 kilograms of tops and 50 kilograms of tags are collected, they can be sold to the recycling facility for enough to buy a wheelchair.
“We think this is a great initiative because it offers our staff a very practical way to get involved in social investment, and each wheelchair obviously has a huge impact on a person’s life,” Mr Botha says. “PPC is coming to the party by matching what our employees do: for each wheelchair that they are able to give to Sweethearts, we will do the same. Simple, direct, help that the community wants. After all, we exist to empower people to experience a better quality of life.”