Socio-Economic Development
 
 

Nelson Mandela Day

As part of celebrating Mandela Day in July 2014, King Shaka International Airport dedicated its 67 minutes to Mdumiseni Day Care Centre at Verulam and Highway Hospice at Sherwood. King Shaka International Airport staff spent its 67 minutes at Mdumiseni Day Care Centre in Verulam. Mdumiseni Day Care Centre is a crèche in one of the rural areas of Verulam and it looks after about 60 kids from the surrounding areas from birth to 5 years. This Centre relies more on donations for sustainability. One of their responsibilities is to ensure that children from the area gets at least one hot meal a day after school before they go home. King Shaka International Airport donated goodie bags for the kids, toiletries, food stuff and toys. This project was introduced to us by Basil Naidoo who is a security officer at King Shaka.

 
King Shaka International Airport staff visiting Mdumseni Alpha Mission School in Hambanathi

In the afternoon, King Shaka International team visited Highway Hospice in Sherwood. Food parcels and toiletry parcels were donated to the hospice. The team also had an opportunity to interact with the patients and took a tour around the Hospice. This gave the airport team a chance to see how the hospice is managed and what care the patients require. The team that was part of the visits has made a commitment to volunteer at these centers.

 
Bernie assisting at the Highway Hospice

King Shaka International Airport uplifting communities

King Shaka International Airport formed a 3 year partnership with The Wildlands Conservation Trust in 2012 to facilitate the Community Based Ecosystem Adaptation (CEBA) project for communities surrounding the Airport.  CEBA is a model where communities are given skills and training to better their lives and livelihoods, while providing economic upliftment through environmental conservation initiatives. The airport management and SED members visited Ndwedwe and Tongaat (Burbreeze) areas to see this project in action. 

 
Team is shown rehabilitation progress around local river in Ndwedwe

The 1st stop was the Ndwedwe area, the home of a treeprenuer nursery which is approximately 30km away from the Airport. This treeprenuer has been growing trees for over a period of time using simple indigenous methods of planting and whose seeds are collected locally. The trees are grown to barter for school fees for her children, grocery vouchers, as well as other items such as Jojo tanks which are facilitated through the Wildlands Conservation Trust. The trees are then used by Wildlands in the rehabilitation and restoration projects, as well as in community upliftment schemes, such as the Burbreeze community which is a small group residing in low cost houses located on steep slopes of the area that surrounds the Wewe River which was our next stop.

 

 
Burbreeze community gardens

The importance of Wewe River is that it connects to Tongaat River which borders the Airport on the Western side of the site.   This community has very active wastepreneurs who collect recyclable material and sort for bartering with Wildlands Conservation Trust.  The programme has provided not only skill to the community, but also employment opportunities. They have removed illegal dumps and cleared alien plants in the river valley, started planting an orchard (fruit trees) to provide food for future generations in the area. The day was an eye-opening experience for the team where it has shown how different people live and thrive under what many people would consider 'impossible conditions'.

Sibusiso Vilane takes Rhino campaign to greater heights at King Shaka International Airport

An event held at King Shaka International Airport June 2014, saw the unveiling of the 15th rhino sculpture in the 'Rhino Parade' campaign. The campaign seeks to raise funding for, and increase awareness around the war on rhino poaching by getting truly great South African's to adopt and help design a ¾ life size black rhino sculpture.

The sculpture unveiled was that of inspirational mountaineer, expedition guide and motivational speaker, Sibusiso Vilane. In 2005 Vilane became the first black person to summit Mount Everest from both sides. He then embarked on the Seven Summits Quest, which involves climbing the highest mountain on each continent, and was also the first black person to achieve this. Since his first ascent of Kilimanjaro in 1999, Sibusiso has summited that mountain 14 times, twelve of which have been guiding trips.  Vilane has also run and completed 4 Comrades Marathons. He is truly inspirational.

 

 
Sibusiso next to his favorite Rhino

"We are all born to win," said Vilane. "I am inspired by all who strive for greatness regardless of their background. My favourite quote (and something I try live by) is by Zig Zigler – You can have everything in life you want if you can help as many people as possible to get what they want," – said Vilane. Sibusiso is a selfless man that not only achieves great things, but inspires and helps others to dream big and achieve their dreams. Vilane has achieved what most considered impossible, and he hopes to contribute to the anti-poaching cause in a similar way – we CAN win this fight. "The Rhino poaching in our country is devastating; we must all come together, unite and fight to save our precious animals. If we work together to fight this challenge, then we can indeed save the Rhino for our future generations," said Vilane.

"Sibusiso is a truly inspirational chap," said Elizabeth-Ann Ross who designed Sibusiso's rhino sculpture. "His open arms and broad smile tell you that he is a giver and wants the best for all who surround him. He has come from a very humble background and made a name for himself; not because he wanted to be rich and famous, but so that he could change the lives of others for the better. The climbing rope made into traditional-type jewellery on the sculpture, symbolises the protection of the horn, as it protects mountaineers, like Sibusiso, from falling on treacherous mountains," commented Ross.

King Shaka International Airport has supported the Rhino Parade since 2012, not only through donations but also by "babysitting" these interesting sculptures in the terminal building. Colin Naidoo, Communications & Brand Manager at Airports Company South Africa, said "We are very passionate about doing our part in protecting this critically endangered species. It is also an honour to be associated with such inspirational individuals like Sibusiso Vilane and also stand by his statement in us needing to UNITE to win this fight against poachers. The other Rhino Ambassadors at King Shaka International Airport were Ray Phiri, Pat Lambie, Shaun Pollock and Chad le Clos. We believe that the airport is a great platform to showcase the sculptures and send out a strong message about the protection of these magnificent animals".

King Shaka International issues Science Labs to local schools

King Shaka International Airport recently partnered with Lasec SA's Edutrade Division on a project which resulted in the injection of much needed Science resources in the Tongaat and Verulam districts of Kwazulu Natal to four selected primary schools.

Given that in the most recent Economic Forum report, South Africa's Science and Maths was rated last out of 148 countries, there is a clear need for corporate investment into the lack of resources in schools to ensure we can improve on this.  The four primary schools identified namely Victoria Primary School, Verulam Primary School, Mbonisweni Primary School and Dianthus Primary School lacked the necessary Science resources to enable teachers at these schools to do practical work in the classroom environment.  Each of these schools received an Edutrade CAPS (Curriculum and Policy Assessment Statement) compliant kit which is designed to fulfil the latest curriculum applied at school level for Grade 4-7 Natural Sciences and Technology Kit. 

 

 
Science lab teachers and King Shaka International Airport staff

Edutrade also trained the teachers of these schools on the kits and much enthusiasm and confidence was shown in this workshop by the teachers which confirmed these kits sponsored by King Shaka International Airport will enable learner class participation in practical experiments which will ultimately achieve the main objective to improve the results in this subject as a long term gain. This is just another reason why King Shaka International Airport was rated as the third best airport in South Africa, apart from servicing the needs of daily travellers; they are consciously investing in their local community through projects like this.

Edutrade, the Educational Division of Lasec SA has for years partnered with the Department of Education to supply schools with quality educational products which fulfil the requirements of the current curriculum.  Regular product updates are done to maintain this, currently all Edutrade Kits and Modules are aligned to our latest CAPS curriculum.  The CSI Division for Edutrade has an objective to secure partners within the private sector who share the vision to uplift resources in targeted schools as CSI projects ensuring learning platforms are created to promote better results in these fields of study at school level.  King Shaka International Airport is proud to have partnered with Edutrade due to this synergy in our CSI goals.