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Tongaat Hulett Development’s annual Wellness Programme improves the wellbeing of local communities |

Enhancing the lives of nearby communities is the foundation of Tongaat Hulett Development’s (THD) much-anticipated annual Wellness Programme which took place last week.

Organised in partnership with eThekwini Municipality’s Department of Health and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the Wellness Programme provides Tongaat employees, as well as residents from surrounding disadvantaged communities, with access to potentially lifesaving health tests and treatment, as well as advice on social rights.

The iniative – which has been running annually since 2007 – forms part of THD’s Social Sustainability and Innovation Programme (SSIP), a Corporate Social Initiative which aims at ensuring all the communities based near Tongaat Hulett Developments are uplifted.

The SSIP has three programmes centred on community improvement; the Social Development Programme – which the Wellness Programme falls under - Open Space Management, as well as Economic Participation Programme. These successful programmes go a long way to improve the lives of those in impoverished communities.

“The wellness initiative started as an inhouse service which encouraged employees to participate in various health and work-life balance talks and assessments,” explained Tongaat Hulett corporate director, Bongani Gumede. “However, we felt the need to expand this operation, taking it to the communities located around our developments. This serves to fulfill our SSIP mandate of improving the health of these communities.”

On Sunday 27 November the programme was run at Blackburn Village with the second programme held on Sunday 30 November at Cornubia. On both days, a marquee was erected, private cubicles organised and chairs set up to ensure the smooth assistance of the hundreds of residents who flocked to the clinics.

Promotional flyers distributed in the areas two to three weeks prior to the wellness clinic ensured everyone had advance notice. The programme ran from 9.30am to 3pm on both days, giving everyone sufficient time to see one of the medical staff and counsellors available. Tests for a variety of ailments including HIV, TB, cholesterol and high blood pressure, among many others, were followed up with medical and counselling advice for every visitor.

Performances on the day by DJ Mzokoloko from Gagasi FM and Maskandi act, Imbali Ye Impondo, kept the crowds entertained while waiting.

“We are thrilled with the turnout and success of our 9th Wellness Programme which provided life-saving health insights to deserving community members,” said Gumede. “We look forward to bringing this vital service back to the residents next year.”


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