The 2010 winners were selected from 35 regional finalists from across Southern Africa after a 26-day Jet Community Awards Convoy visited each of the SA-based regional winners as part of a national road show to pay tribute to this year's community heroes. The convoy, together with celebrity host Fezile Mpela, Siphiwe Mbonambi and local community leaders from each of the competitions nine regions travelled from Alexandra on 5 October to Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga on 30 October to celebrate individually with each of the 28 regional winners and hand over R15 000 in prize money to each winner.
Now in its eighth year, the Jet Community Awards invites entries annually from citizens of South Africa (made up of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Free State provinces), Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, specific to those individuals or organisations that have made a compelling contribution to the wellbeing of their communities.
The awards recognises community projects and grass roots organisations in four categories:
- Education - honouring organisations and individuals focusing on school-level programmes of excellence in literacy, maths, science and technology;
- We Care - organisations / individuals who focus on (a) people with disabilities, specifically in terms of care, support and empowerment, as well as initiatives with people with disabilities and (b) Abused women and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) specifically affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic;
- Vukuzenzele - recognises entrepreneurs and development centres that help create jobs and stimulate economic development. There are three awards within this category - namely awarding black (African, Coloured, Asian) women in business; youths in business (18-35 years old) and small businesses in rural areas; and
- Environmental Waste Management - recognises organisations / individuals that focus on reducing or eliminating waste production as far as possible so that there is less impact on the environment.
The 2010 awards distributed more than R1 million in prize money, honouring 35 regional winners, and seven national winners in the process. The seven final winners each received R75,000 in cash including R1,000 in Jet shopping vouchers.
Jet Club manager, Antashia Sassman, believes that over the past seven years the awards platform has acted as a powerful vehicle for community upliftment.
Says Jet Club manager, Antashia Sassman, "The Jet Community Awards were created to identify and support community projects from grass roots up. As a family brand committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals, families and society at large, Jet is privileged to be able to provide vital funding where it is most needed, at a time when so many Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) are facing severe budget and sponsorship cuts. We commend and congratulate our 2010 regional winners for their dedication and commitment to transforming lives and landscapes in their communities, and proving just how much can be achieved with little or no support."
National winners of the 2010 Jet Community Awards:
- Maqhawe Theatre Group from Gutswa in the Mpumalanga Province (Education)
- Tsosanang Drop In Centre from Mookgo Village in the Limpopo Province (We Care HIV/AIDS, Abused Women and OVC)
- Sedi Swiswing Mpudulle Blind Bereau from Siyabuswa in the Mpumalanga Province (We Care Disabilities)
- Vukuzenzele People of Pearston from Pearston in the Eastern Cape Province (Vukuzenzele Black Women in Business)
- Batjha Etsoseng Co-Operative from De Deur in the Gauteng Province (Vukuzenzele Youth in Small Businesses)
- Puthanang Batlokoa Handicrafts Co-Operative Society Ltd. in Teyateyaneng, Lesotho (Vukuzenzele Small Business in Rural Areas)
- Tlharabololo Investments from Ramotswa in Botswana (Environmental Waste Management)
Sassman continues, "Through these awards, Jet is privileged to be able to contribute to the outstanding social, entrepreneurial and environmental initiatives that have been spearheaded by extraordinary individuals at a grassroots level across the competition's five participating regions. We trust that the prize money and exposure that the Jet Community Awards delivers can go some way to attract additional resources to assist these champions of community empowerment, who remain an example of altruistic care for vulnerable communities and individuals across Southern Africa."
For more information, go to www.jetstores.co.za/Jet/Jet+Cares/