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Sanlam Calls on Corporate SA to Rally in the Face of KZN and EC School Nutrition Crisis

By Karl Socikwa, 16 May 2023

As the ongoing food shortage crisis spreads across both KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, Sanlam, Africa’s largest non-banking financial services provider, is appealing to fellow corporates to band together to tackle the crisis, following the collapse of the public school feeding schemes in the provinces.

Efforts are afoot by the respective departments to resolve the crisis in each province, however, there’s a real need to address the issue in the interim.

Sanlam has donated R1,5 million towards the relief of learners in KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. The donation which equates to 310 000 meals between May and July 2023, will go directly to the impacted schools in the provinces and will be facilitated by the Lunchbox Fund. Sanlam has a long-standing relationship with the Lunchbox Fund as they are a key service provider for the Sanlam Foundation Education Programme. The Education Programme is aimed at helping children from low-income communities in South Africa get the education they desperately need to build a life free of poverty.

Nutrition has a major influence on student learning and is a key factor in productivity and concentration. Without access to food, impacted schools are sending learners home early where many face the same raw reality, as school is their only hope for a meal.

Karl Socikwa, Group Executive of Market Development at Sanlam, says he believes that the situation is beyond a food shortage crisis. “It impacts entire households and communities. It places added pressure on caregivers who already find themselves financially strained, and it’s an additional barrier to childhood education and development which has a detrimental knock-on effect. Poor education hinders a child’s ability to generate future income and drives our nation’s already high unemployment rate. It would be amiss to label this a food shortage crisis when we are in fact facing a humanitarian crisis.”

karl Karl

Karl Socikwa

Socikwa added that corporates have a responsibility to act swiftly and together. “The Thrive by Five Index report found that 1 in 18 children have signs of long-term malnutrition in South Africa and we need a rapid and collective response to the situation from corporates in our country. If our children are starved and vulnerable, our future economic sustainability is threatened. To this end, it’s our responsibility to come to the aid of these learners. We at Sanlam call on our fellow corporates to join us, so together we can build a financially confident and resilient population on the African continent.”

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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