The festive season past saw United Manganese of Kalahari (UMK) celebrate a decade and a half of taking some festive cheer to twenty-seven communities within the Joe Morolong and Gasegonyana municipalities. The company debuted this initiative in 2008.
“Community is important to us,” said UMK chief executive Malcolm Curror and he added that it has become a seasonal tradition for staff. “Last year was also a milestone for us, especially marking the commitment of our colleagues who, without fail, plan and implement the initiative every year.”
More than nine hundred food parcels were distributed by UMK from a central point in Kuruman. Here, nominated representatives and community leaders collected the parcels to take home and distribute at their respective villages. Beneficiaries included pensioners, child headed households, old age homes, nursery schools and not for profit organisations.
“Not everyone is fortunate enough to share in the joy of the festive season,” said Curror, “and by contributing in meaningful ways and where the need is most dire, it becomes more than a corporate social responsibility exercise. For us, and our colleagues, it is an opportunity to share and engage with the communities that we serve, both as a business and a role player in the local economy.”
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Gloria Mbatha of UMK added to Curror’s sentiment and shared that beyond the joy of giving, participation in assembling the food parcels was immensely rewarding. The company did not outsource any of the work. Instead Mbatha along with colleagues rolled up their sleeves and got the job done. “This is what being part of a larger collective is about, what participating in the community is all about, and how individuals and the sum of goodwill can make a difference.”