Supporting communities who are affected by natural disasters is a key pillar guiding Isuzu Motors South Africa’s (IMSA) corporate social responsibility initiatives.
To this end, IMSA recently responded to Farmers Assist South Africa’s (Boerehulp Suid-Afrika) initiative to provide aid to farmers and farming communities in areas which have been adversely affected by droughts. The non-profit organisation’s aim is to transport critical fodder, farming essentials and food to these farms, thus ensuring ongoing food security for the country.
Working closely with its dealers across the country, the commercial vehicle manufacturer reached out to Motus Isuzu Isando in Johannesburg to request trucks for the transportation of fodder. This dealership has had a long history with farming communities and regularly supports similar initiatives.
Motus Isuzu Isando Franchise Managing Director, Le Roux Roux, is well acquainted with the plight of the agricultural sector and believes that if farmers cannot produce, the country will be in trouble. “The farmers are in dire need – they have no money for food or to send their children to school. While Mpumalanga and the Free State received good rain and the farmers expect a good harvest, other farmers in the north of Limpopo had to slaughter their game animals because of the drought conditions and there is also a big ongoing need in the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces,” said Roux.
The dealership has supported Farmers Assist with two brand-new FVZ 1400 trucks, which are customised with major drop sides and higher sides to carry additional bales and feed, two truck drivers and fuel for the trips.
One of the first trips the trucks will undertake is the delivery of fodder to Vanwyksvlei in the Northern Cape and Tolwe in Limpopo.
“The trucks will be used on an ongoing basis to move feed around for South African farmers who are in need,” said Roux.
Farmers Assist SA Founder, Ronel Steenkamp, said the situation, particularly in the Northern Cape, was critical, despite good rains experienced elsewhere in the country.
“One farmer had to slaughter her hand-reared lamb to be able to provide for her child to go back to university. It is heart-breaking to see how grateful farmers are for just a few bales of feed. They are fighting to keep their animals alive,” said Steenkamp.
The organisation is also looking for partners to assist with providing groceries to the farming communities in need, fuel for their bakkies to make the trips as well as any donations of fodder and feed. “We are very grateful to the farmers who help each other in need, as well as to Isuzu for the incredible support and passion for the farming community of South Africa,” said Steenkamp.
According to IMSA Corporate Communications Manager, Gishma Johnson, the company works closely with its dealers across the country to ensure that an optimal community support footprint is in place. “We recognise the devastating effects of the drought on the agricultural sector and we value the collaboration with Farmers Assist SA and Motus Isuzu Isando in supporting the sustainability of our farmers,” said Johnson.