Zuurberg race boosts socio-economic development

Having developed a close rapport over the years, next month’s PwC Great Zuurberg Trek will further strengthen the mountain bike event’s partnership with the Unity in Africa Foundation.

The relationship between the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek and Unity in Africa Foundation has grown over the years and these volunteers now play an active role in the event. Photo: Morné Marais

Reflecting on the relationship, UinA director Bernice Rose said their position as a race beneficiary had gone a long way in helping develop the foundation’s brand.

“This has been a win-win partnership from inception and the support we receive from the event greatly contributes in ensuring that we are able to continue our day to day running of the foundation.”

She said the foundation specialised in socio-economic development and acted as a channel between businesses and beneficiary organisations.

“We believe that improving education is the key to lasting socio-economic transformation in South Africa.

“Our core focus is development through educational support programmes that empower individuals to contribute positively to our economy,” said Rose.

Three individuals oversee the day-to-day operation of the foundation and while every effort was made to minimise costs, Rose said they relied on partnership-driven support to ensure their continued work.

“The support we receive ensures our impact on investments are maintained and that we can continue to support our students,” she said. “It costs R25 000 per student per year to make a positive impact.”

PwC Great Zuurberg Trek co-founder Trevor Hayter said the relationship with UinA had grown over the years and the foundation now played an active role in the event each year.

“One of the ways they get exposure is through the meet and greet service at the airport. They are involved with the receiving of riders as they land in Port Elizabeth.”

Through this contact, Rose said they hoped to make some headway in achieving one of their short-term goals.

“Welcoming the riders at the airport provides a perfect opportunity for us to get to know some of the participants and make important connections.

“Through these we hope to sign at least five additional companies to donate to our iGems programme.”

She said the aim of the programme was to increase the number of technical and engineering graduates from disadvantaged communities in Nelson Mandela Bay and place them in permanent employment.

The Sundays River Citrus Company Foundation Trust was named as the other beneficiary of this year’s event, which takes place from May 26 to 28.

Hayter said their decision to support two organisations stemmed from a desire to give back to the community.

Go to www.greatzuurbergtrek.co.za for more information.

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