Sibaya Community Trust announced today it had invested a total of R16-million in projects during the 2015 financial year.

Trust chairman Tristan Kaatze said funds had primarily been invested in four areas: health, welfare, education and capacity building.

As part of the announcement trustees visited four key projects in the Greater Durban Area:

  • Zenzeleni Grade R Learning Centre in Buffelsdraai
  • Siyabusiswa Children’s Shelter in Bothas Hill
  • Verulam Regional Hospice
  • Zibambeleni Old Age Home in Clermont

Zenzeleni Learning Centre is located near Verulam. It caters for 568 learners from the Buffelsdraai and Tea Estate informal settlements. Due to its proximity to the Verulam CBD, the school has seen excessive growth and grew out of its existing buildings. The Trust built a new block of classrooms and provided much-needed ablution facilities.

The Siyabusiswa Children’s Shelter in Bothas Hill has been in existence since 2007 and provides shelter, food and clothes for abandoned orphans from the area. It has orphans from ages 5 to 17. The Trust renovated the old building, bringing it up to a good living standard.

Verulam Regional Hospice has been in existence for 19 years. It caters for the terminally ill and those with life threatening diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS. The Trust built an extension to their existing building, which will now be used as a training centre in palliative care.

Zibambeleni Old Age Home in Clermont has been providing shelter and medical care to the aged in Clermont for 60 years. It accommodates 170  elderly people, excluding day care residents. The Trust built a new roof at the home.

Kaatze said, in addition to their humanitarian objectives, the Trust also strictly adhered to national BEE guidelines, unlocking opportunities for local black companies. He said the four visited projects were examples of this. Work on the Verulam Regional Hospice project was completed by local builders, Cleos Construction. Sakcon Construction worked on both the Siyabusiswa and Zibambeleni projects while local company, Mafuze Mahle was responsible for the building of the new block at the Zenzeleni Learning Centre.

He said among Sibaya Community Trust’s other leading projects was the Matric Academic Intervention Initiative or MADI Project. This intervention was undertaken as a result of poor matric results in schools. Eleven  schools in the Ilembe District, achieved a 0-30% matric pass rate. Through MADI, the Trust has created an intervention that would better prepare learners for matric. It also encourages students to do better by giving them access to university bursaries, laptops and cellphones. Teachers have been promised cash bonuses by the Trust if their schools performed well.

Another flagship project is the Chief Albert Luthuli Skills Centre in KwaDukuza. The Centre will train unemployed and underskilled youth and link them to employment opportunities in the area. These include welding, bricklaying, electrical work and plumbing – key skills of the building industry.

Kaatze said trustees viewed their roles at the Trust as a ‘calling’ rather than a mandate and that they were often humbled when visiting AIDS orphanages, old age homes and impoverished areas.

“We at Sibaya Community Trust are not in it for money, fame or fortune. We truly want to make a difference to the lives of the less privileged.”

Quoting Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi he said Trustees agreed the best way to find oneself, was to lose yourself in the service of others.

Durban mayor Councillor James Nxumalo praised the Trust for their ongoing good work. “It is clear that the Trust has touched the lives of thousands in KZN. Their R16-million annual spend is an enormous amount of money. I would like to congratulate the Trustees and staff, particularly for their work in the areas of job creation, poverty alleviation and disease prevention. This effort must surely be one of the foremost CSI gestures, not just in Durban and KZN but in the country as a whole.”

Sibaya Community Trust was formed in April 1998. It derives funding from dividends received from Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom (Pty) Ltd, where it is a 9,3% shareholder. Other Trustees are businessman and Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom Chairman, Mr Vivian Reddy and the Honourable Judge Vuka Tshabalala.

For more information contact Ms Kudzai Mqingwana on 082 888 3702 or sibayatrust@suninternational.com