/ 27 May 2008

R20m collected for victims of xenophobia

Several institutions, including the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and national carrier South African Airways (SAA), offered funding totalling more than R20-million to xenophobia victims on Tuesday.

The DBSA and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) said they had set up a R20-million fund to support humanitarian relief.

”The combined funding of R20-million, based on equal contributions from the DBSA and IDC, will be made available primarily through the DBSA interaction with municipalities. As part of the allocation, R2-million will be made available to the Red Cross,” they said in a joint statement.

SAA chief executive Khaya Ngqula said the airline would donate about R750 000 to the Red Cross for food, blankets, clothes and media aid for the refugees. Another R250 000 will be given to the central Methodist church in Johannesburg.

”This donation will provide emergency funding to restore much needed water supplies at the church,” said Ngqula.

The DBSA said it would also make contributions to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Commission for Gender Equity (CGE) to assist in their response to the xenophobic violence that has left 56 people dead and about 17 000 displaced.

”Assistance will also be provided in coordination and communication efforts, including the release of project management staff to support the coordination work of the SAHRC and CGE.

”The DBSA and IDC will continue to monitor the situation closely. The allocation of their financial support will be informed by the scale of events and the needs that arise,” the parties said, adding that a team had been appointed to coordinate the joint effort. – Sapa