• Ford South Africa, Gift of Givers and Cars.co.za provide relief to community of Touws River
  • A decline in tourism, caused by COVID-19, has contributed to the town’s low unemployment levels
  • Additional donations made on the day will boost humanitarian efforts across the nation
PRETORIA, South Africa, 16 July 2021 – “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.” It is this inspiring quote from Nelson Mandela that helped set in motion a humanitarian relief effort between Gift of the Givers, Ford South Africa and Cars.co.za within the small town of Touws River in the Western Cape.

Recently, Gift of the Givers was informed by charity organisations that the people of Touws River had fallen on even harder times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Ali Sablay from Gift of the Givers, as much as 80 percent of the people in Touws River are unemployed. “When COVID hit South Africa, game reserves in the area had to lay off staff while other businesses closed down during the pandemic. This economic disruption has caused even higher unemployment and taken away many peoples’ only source of income,” says Sablay.

“It also became apparent that the health among the elderly was deteriorating despite receiving their chronic medication,” continues Sablay. “When the nursing sisters visited these people, they found that there was absolutely no food and that the medication was being taken on empty stomachs. It was very clear at this stage that we needed to get involved with the right partners.”

In the early hours of 8 July, two Ford Rangers, driven by the team at Cars.co.za and Gift of the Givers, were filled with food hampers and blankets and embarked on the two-hour drive from Cape Town to Touws River. Their arrival was immediately greeted by thankful smiles and excitement followed by helping hands that arrived to distribute a total of 150 food hampers and 150 blankets from the Rangers’ loadbins.

“We could see the tears of joys in their eyes as the bakkies were opened and bulk food and blankets were handed out. Cape Town is going through harsh weather with numerous cold fronts, and the people in Touws River were absolutely amazed that they were receiving a warm blanket from Ford South Africa and Cars.co.za. This is a day that they will never forget,” concludes Sablay.

Additionally, R100 000 was donated by Cars.co.za, making it possible for Gift of the Givers to provide broader assistance to those in need in the coming months.

"It is a pleasure and an honour for Cars.co.za to join forces with the Gift of the Givers and Ford South Africa, two brands that together have already made a big and positive impact on the lives of many South Africans,” says Hannes Oosthuizen, Consumer Experience manager at Cars.co.za.

“This initiative kicked off with targeted assistance of the Touws River community, but we hope to raise enough funds to further boost Gift of the Givers' efforts across our nation. Cars.co.za has kickstarted this project by donating R100 000 from its 2020 YouTube advertising revenue, and now we call on all South Africans who are able to assist, to donate and help this project bring some warmth and comfort to those communities that have been left battered by not only the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions, but also the chilly grip of winter."

“Initiatives like this epitomise the ‘Ford for South Africa’ campaign,” says Neale Hill, managing director of Ford South Africa. “It goes beyond just highlighting Ford’s corporate and product legacy and demonstrates our commitment to this wonderful and vibrant country, and our unwavering dedication to building a brighter future for all South Africans,” Hill adds.