Business Chamber member companies to adopt schools as part of Bay’s water preservation efforts

Business Chamber member companies to adopt schools as part of Bay’s water preservation efforts

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will soon be launching an Adopt a School initiative with the help of its member companies to repair damaged or faulty infrastructure at some of the Metro’s schools that have been identified as high water consumers.

Over 30 schools across Nelson Mandela Bay have been flagged as high water consumers due to leaking water pipes and faulty plumbing systems which need urgent repairing. To this end, the Business Chamber is in the process of roping in member companies to adopt schools near their precincts as a response to the city’s clarion call for water preservation.

This will be done in partnership with the municipality and the Department of Education to conduct a needs analysis to establish where member companies can prioritise their assistance. But more importantly, this will also present an opportunity to drive an awareness campaign to educate learners about the importance of water preservation.

With the city’s combined dam levels currently below 12%, this reflects an agonising picture of a city teetering on the brink of reaching acute water shortages. The municipality has predicted that the Metro will not have sufficient water in the next two or three months. This places a huge responsibility on both businesses and residents to make major adjustments in their daily consumption patterns. The industry must save 20% of their daily consumption while residents must use 50 litres per person. 

Though the industry is extending its help to the municipality and the Department of Education, however, as primary stakeholders, the two institutions will be expected to play a more meaningful role in the sustenance of this programme.  

Part of our mandate as the Business Chamber is to continue advocating for infrastructure development as most of the city’s potable water is lost through water leaks due to aging infrastructure and lack of maintenance thereof. We need more commitment from the municipality in implementing remedial actions to address the Bay’s water challenges.

With no major rains predicted any time soon to break the incessant drought, the severity of our dam levels demands all hands on deck to ensure every drop is preserved.







TAVCOR MOTOR GROUP: Businesses rally together to find new home for Khaya Cheshire

TAVCOR MOTOR GROUP: Businesses rally together to find new home for Khaya Cheshire

Khaya Cheshire started a new chapter in a new building at the beginning of 2021, following the devastating vandalism of their centre in Walmer Township during lockdown last year.

The care and development centre for children who are physically and mentally challenged, provides a safe haven to 23 children of various ages from 4 years old, who are living in Walmer township.

The old premises of Khaya Cheshire, an outreach programme of Cheshire Homes Summerstrand, was situated in Victoria Drive from where the centre had been providing educare to children for the past 16 years.

Cheshire Homes Summerstrand Centre Manager Deidre Burger said the Khaya Cheshire centre was forced to close during the hard lockdown period last year, and within weeks the damage to the classroom was beyond repair. “Vandals removed some roof panels to gain entrance to the building. Even the fridge was removed through the roof, and we realised that we couldn’t go back to the building,” said Burger.

With the help of one of the centre’s long-standing supporters, Tavcor Motor Group HR Director Megan Stow, a group of businesses came together to supply an alternative space to ensure the children at the centre would continue to get the care and support they need to thrive.

“Tavcor has walked a path with Khaya since the establishment of the centre over 15 years ago, and we hold the connection to this special centre close to our hearts. Dynaform has made their warehouse space available to the centre for a period of two years, at no cost, and also assisted in making the space more comfortable for the children,” said Stow.

The converted warehouse space, conveniently located at the Dunes Industrial Park in Walmer, is not only much more spacious to accommodate the necessary Covid regulations of social distancing, but it also has the added benefit of security.

The businesses who assisted in transforming the warehouse into a beautiful school were the Tavcor Motor Group, Dynaform, Grindstone and RC Construction.

Khaya Cheshire Centre Manager, Julia Sargent said generous sponsors also assisted in providing furniture and a gate to the classroom. “I would like to really say thank you to all those who have made this new facility possible. What makes Khaya so special is that the children, who are often misunderstood in their own communities, find a sense of belonging and identity here at Khaya Cheshire and a feeling of safety,” said Sargent. She said the biggest current need at the centre would be finding volunteers, particularly trained therapists, to assist with helping the children reach their full potential and identifying those who could get reintroduced into the formal schooling system.

The Tavcor Motor Group also supports Happy Feet, a centre like Khaya Cheshire which provides care to children with physical and mental challenges in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth.

Happy Feet is an outreach programme of Cheshire Homes Cleary Estate. Khaya Cheshire Founder Hilary Bolton said the centre was initially started when she was still working as a social worker at Cheshire Homes Summerstrand, in an effort to expand and reach wider communities. “We are very proud of how Khaya Cheshire has grown from a room at the back of Cheshire Homes Summerstrand, to a registered centre in a new facility.

After the vandalism, Tavcor came in to save us once again. They have been in constant support of Khaya Cheshire from the beginning and have partnered alongside us on this journey to support children in need of special education and attention,” said Bolton.


Photo Caption:

The staff and children at Khaya Cheshire together with Deidre Burger (Manager Cheshire Homes) 2nd row, 3rd from left and Megan Stow (Tavcor Motor Group HR Director) 2nd row, 2nd from right.


For more information:

Bev Gaia

Gaia Marketing

Tel. 083 657 5671

Marketing Makeover Sessions – Collaboration with the Business Chamber

Marketing Makeover Sessions – Collaboration with the Business Chamber

Oracle Media is excited to share developments on their recent collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

The partnership enables new businesses or existing businesses the opportunity to receive a marketing makeover session from the talented marketing team at Oracle Media.

One on one sessions are booked through the Business Chamber with the relevant business owners or marketing representatives. The Oracle Media team dissects the businesses current marketing strategy and provides recommendations to enhance and potentially transform their marketing approaches.

The team also looks at the relevant businesses digital online presence and discusses social media and digital marketing.

Oracle Media is always keen to share tips with these businesses to encourage growing their brand awareness and identifying opportunities for these businesses to capitalize on.

The feedback that the team have received from these sessions have been phenomenal as these sessions are jam packed with relevant information that immediately assist the businesses.

Oracle Media also launched Season 2 of “In Conversation with….hosted by their Managing Director, Neil Barker. These Facebook Live Webinars cover a broad spectrum of topics where experts are interviewed, allowing an engaging conversation between the relevant parties and the public of course.

Season one of “In Conversation with…” was launched during South Africa’s first lockdown in March and was nominated for an award. Oracle Media is excited about Season two and the phenomenal experts that will form part of the line-up. The “In Conversation with…” live Facebook webinars will take place every Tuesday at 11am on the Oracle Media Facebook Page.

VWSA welcomes 520 YES candidates for 2021 intake

VWSA welcomes 520 YES candidates for 2021 intake

Kariega – Another 520 unemployed youth have been given a chance to gain invaluable work experience, through Volkswagen Group South Africa’s (VWSA) support of the national Youth Employment Service (YES) programme.

Of the 520 candidates in the 2021 intake, 270 will be hosted at VWSA sites in Kariega (formerly Uitenhage) and Gauteng. This group began their work readiness training on 1 March, ahead of being deployed to their new workplaces at the start of May 2021. These candidates will be deployed for 14 months at VWSA instead of the normal 12-month contract.

At the same time, the 141 candidates that were placed internally in March 2020 are staying for an additional six months, to offer them the experience they were unable to gain during the first months of national lockdown in 2020. Where possible, the candidates were supported to work remotely and attend online training during hard lockdown.

The other 250 candidates from the 2021 intake will be deployed to VWSA dealerships and SME partners countrywide later this year, when their 2020 counterparts finish their 12-month contracts.

The YES programme was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to enable young people without formal qualifications to gain work experience, with the aim of improving their chances at long-term quality employment. VWSA is participating in this important empowerment programme for the third consecutive year, bringing the total of opportunities they’ve created through this initiative to 1 600.

“Initiatives such as the YES programme, and the other graduate programmes offered by VWSA, play an integral role in preparing youth for their future careers,” said Dr Lesley Lee, Division Head of the VW Learning Academy. “We are honoured to play our part in alleviating the youth unemployment crisis, by creating opportunities that could ultimately empower the youth to gain quality employment.”


For more information contact:

Andile Dlamini

Head: Group Communications

Volkswagen Group South Africa

Mobile: +27 82 451 5415

Work:    +27 41 994 5042