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Nelson Mandela University, as an engaged institution, anchored in its resolve towards social justice, has established a Convergence Fund, to provide direct assistance to the needy and most vulnerable persons in our immediate communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented occurrence in the history of our country’s young democracy. Our government has shown great initiative in introducing measures to manage the pandemic and its impact on South African society.

However, it has become increasingly apparent that the pandemic is not only a health issue. It has, and continues to have, a huge impact on the economy and on peoples’ livelihoods. Significant as the government’s efforts to ease the severity of COVID-19 have been, realistically, they cannot cover every eventuality nor reach every citizen in need of assistance.

Presently, hunger and food security in communities have emerged as critical challenges as the pandemic and accompanying lockdown restrictions continue to have dire consequences on large and small-scale economic activity. This has resulted in job losses and the loss of livelihoods, which aggravates the country’s prevailing triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Despite Government’s interventions through the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and other government agencies and NGOs, poor communities are suffering untold hardship.

Given the socio-economic challenges in our region and the immediate need for resources to aid the fight against COVID-19, the University is of the view that a contribution in this manner would be best.

Money raised through the Fund will be used to address hunger and social deprivation amongst the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities.

The Convergence Fund is part of the University’s overall COVID-19 response, which seeks to mobilise the institution’s collective resources to act in the service of society, with a particular focus on individuals and groups that suffer socio-economic deprivation.

The Fund, which is managed through the Nelson Mandela University Trust, has so far raised more than R70 000, which is in the process of being disbursed to some of the identified beneficiaries.  

These include, among others, vulnerable groups experiencing hunger, people affected by gender-based violence (GBV), community-based sustainable food gardens and unemployed youth.

For more information about this initiative, you are welcome to visit the Convergence Fund webpage.

Nelson Mandela University Convergence Fund Steering Committee

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777