PHUMELELA Special Care Centre in Ezibeleni was a hive of activity on Monday as local businesses came to spend time with the pupils as part of the 67 Minutes for Madiba campaign which urges South Africans to do good for others.
Local businesses, including Shell Ultra City, Protea Spar, SA Breweries (SAB) and the Siyaphakama Adult Choir, were involved in projects at the centre, such as working in the garden, serving soup and bread and painting classrooms.
Siphosethu Mtola of Shell said the company was there to spend the 67 minutes in honour of the late former president Nelson Mandela and to give back to the community.
“CTM tiled, Build It changed doors and Builders Express also came on board. We also had PG Glass, Bidvest, Coca-Cola, Imperial Bakery and Proveg EC in the mix. Cathcart Butchery and Red Bull East London were some of the businesses who have helped make this day possible,” he said.
SAB area manager Reggie Oor said this was part of a national campaign to give back to communities.
“We did the garden and painted classrooms and brought toys for the pupils. We spoke to them before coming, so we responded to their needs,” he said.
Oor said the company had stopped operations on the day to spend it at the centre and it was not just a once-off event.
Vukani Community Radio provided the entertainment.
Protea SPAR marketing clerk Xabisa Shenxane said they provided a breakfast of soup and rolls for all, bags of oranges and cake.
“We also gave Phumelela R3000 in vouchers to be used for toiletries, groceries and other necessities. Our managers and staff showed incredible support, with bakery manager Beverley Allens going the extra mile,” Shenxane said.
Centre manager Nobuntu Gulwa said people could no longer say the building was not a conducive place for the children.
“This place looks like a university now, it is beautiful. The staff, the children and the parents are happy and grateful to all those who contributed and made our day and the year ahead so blessed.”
Gulwa said after 11 years of efforts to make the centre a place of choice, her dream had finally come true.