Three cheers to Daimler Trucks & Buses’ (DT&B) FleetBoard division and the South African Red Cross Society on spearheading a humanitarian initiative to hand over 50 000 litres of water to the impoverished area of Imizamo Yethu in the Western Cape suburb of Hout Bay. The project was helped along by financial contributions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services as well as Mercedes-Benz Vans.
As is well known, the province is facing an unprecedented water crisis with dams still less than 30% full. This number does not paint the entire picture as the last 10% of a dam’s water is difficult to use, so the useable water in the dams is approximately 20%.
The water shortage also presents a health crisis as access to safe water and sanitation means opportunity for improved health; the ability to fight disease; and reduced child and maternal mortality rates.
Commenting on the need for the project, Rowlands Peters, head of FleetBoard Southern Africa, says thousands of residents from Imizamo Yethu have been dealt a double blow, firstly from the water shortage and secondly from their informal homes being destroyed in a number of fires.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, DT&B is merely fulfilling its obligation to assist wherever we can. Water is one of the most urgent needs in this community which is why we decided to play a role in providing the aid. We consider it our duty to help in this difficult situation,” he says. “FleetBoard is Daimler’s vehicle and driver management system but we place great emphasis on the human element which is why we also train the various drivers to perform at the most efficient levels.
“From working with people on a daily basis, we understand that people are an integral part of anything that we do – not only as FleetBoard but as DT&B as a whole. That is the main reason we are always looking for more ways to assist wherever we can. Of course, we would not have been able to assist had it not been for the South African Red Cross Society. They are experts in this field and their guidance has proven to be incredibly valuable,” adds Peters.
Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa also supports the Trucking Wellness initiative, in collaboration with the National Bargaining Council of the Road Freight and Logistics Industry. Key outcomes of the programme are:
- Increase understanding around, and reduce the impact of, HIV and Aids and other lifestyle diseases.
- Increase capacity to prevent and manage disease.
- Benefit employee health, life expectancy and job retention.
- Information, education and screening around health issues.
- Assist fleet owners to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a sustainable Workplace Wellness Programme (including the development of policies, systems and processes).