The South African Red Cross Society has recognised Vodacom for its joint contribution of just under R1.1-million from itself and its participating customers towards two Vodacom Red Alert campaigns.
A total of 8,503 customers responded to the appeals in January and March this year when Vodacom issued two Red Alerts in response to the floods that affected many South Africans in January as well as the earthquake and Tsunami that took place in Japan a few months later.
Vodacom Red Alert is a technology-based platform through which Vodacom customers can respond to the plight of those impacted by a natural disaster, by pledging contributions via the SMS platform.
In addition to the outright donation from the customer, the costs usually recovered from the customer SMS contribution are waived in the case of Vodacom Red Alerts. This means that the full amount donated by customers is channelled to victims through the South African Red Cross Society.
Vodacom’s contribution amounted to R1-million towards both disasters, with the balance of R84,475 coming from Vodacom subscribers.
Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom’s Executive Director: CSI, said: “We are pleased that our customers have taken advantage of the mobile technology platform, created to enable them to contribute towards the two Red Alert campaigns.”
The General Secretary of SARCS, Mandisa Kalako-Williams, said: “South Africa had encountered floods in 8 of the 9 provinces and Vodacom partnered with SARCS in providing relief assistance to affected households. This was in addition to support given by South African public.”
The SARCS launched an emergency relief appeal in February to the South African public. The Vodacom Foundation was the first corporate to respond to the appeal, while the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement made available R1,6-million, through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. The SARCS then identified the worst affected provinces, which were Free State, Northern Cape and North West. In total SARCS provided relief, food parcel, hygiene packs and blankets to 1774 households.
The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011 caused widespread destruction and suffering. Almost 28,000 people have been reported dead or missing and tens of thousands are still living in evacuation centres.
“Since the disaster began, the Japanese Red Cross has been providing people in need with first aid and emergency healthcare, as well as distributing relief items. This includes medical care, distributing blankets, clothing and other relief items, cash grants for families of victims and people whose homes were completely destroyed,” says the SARCS.