Carmakers come to the rescue as KZN flood tragedy proves bigger than first imagined

Durban: From postings placed on its reporting structure it is clear the loss of life in the recent KwaZulu-Natal floods is greater than originally estimated according to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, head of Gift of the Givers Foundation, speaking a function in Umhlanga, Durban where the organisation received a R3-million donation from Hyundai and its parent company, Motus.

The bulk of the donated money will go towards acquiring material to help flood victims rebuild homes and places of residence that were damaged or washed away.

“The losses and suffering due to the floods in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are of a scale unseen in recent times in South Africa. There was no doubt in our minds that we had to contribute to the relief effort in the province by this donation to Gift of the Givers, which has vast experience and many successes in relief and rebuilding operations of this kind,” says Niall Lynch, CEO of Hyundai Automotive SA.

“Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea is equally concerned about the disaster in KZN and have combined with us to make this contribution possible. We trust that the funds donated in this collaborative effort will be put to good use to improve the lives and circumstances of people who have lost homes, all possessions and modes of transport.”

The latest donation to Gift of the Givers for relief in flood-ravished areas in KwaZulu-Natal forms part of an ongoing collaborative corporate social investment programme of Hyundai Automotive SA, official importer and distributor of Hyundai vehicles in South Africa, and the Hyundai Motor Company with non-government organisations (NGOs) in the country.

From 2020 to 2022 Hyundai Automotive SA, also in combination with Hyundai Motor Company of Korea, donated five H-100 Bakkies and a H-1 9-seater bus to Gift of the Givers as part of its Covid-19 social investment to assist with the distribution of food and essential items in communities that were affected by the pandemic.

“Gift of the Givers deeply values the incredible partnership with Hyundai and Motus who always rise to the challenge at the most critical times during disaster intervention. At the onset of Covid-19 we had to increase our vehicle fleet to meet the ever-demanding requests from 210 hospitals nationwide and to deploy mobile Covid-19 testing teams. Hyundai and Motus responded rapidly with the donation of three vehicles,” says Sooliman, founder and head of the Gift of the Givers Foundation.

“In 2021 they added another two, and yet another one at the beginning of 2022 as part of an ongoing supply of vehicles to vastly improve Gift of the Givers logistics capability. With the KZN floods the response was instant yet again, this time with a R3-million donation to provide essential immediate requirements for the traumatised flood affected victims. Gift of the Givers appreciates this invaluable partnership which synergistically benefits the people of our country.”

* Other corporates have also donated generously to the KZN relief efforts. This week Volkswagen South Africa pledged R2 million to the Gift of the Givers Foundation, while Ford South Africa donated R370 000.