Businesses to play their part in fighting HIV/Aids in SA. 2/11/2017

Published by SANDTONCHRONICLES

Business leaders were invited to a Splash for Hope fundraising breakfast organised by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) in order to contribute to keeping civil society organisations fighting HIV/Aids alive.

Ruth Apostolov, Nina Botha and Caroline Kenyon get to know one another at the Splash for Hope breakfast organised by the South African National Aids Council at the Michelangelo Hotel. Photo: Sarah Koning

Business leaders were invited to a Splash for Hope fundraising breakfast organised by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) in order to contribute to keeping civil society organisations fighting HIV/Aids alive.

The function hosted on 31 October at the Michelangelo Hotel on Nelson Mandela Square urged small businesses and corporates to become active citizens assisting the government in the fight against Aids.

Sanac, with the support of United Nations Programme on Aids (Unaids), launched Splash for Hope in order to implement the National Strategic Plan for 2017–2022.

Deputy chairperson of Sanac Mmapaseka Steve Letsike says there is still much to be done to fight HIV/Aids in South Africa. Photo: Sarah Koning

Country director for Unaids, Mbulawa Mugabe said the UN made a commitment last year that 30 per cent of service delivery should be done by civil society organisations by 2030, therefore acknowledging the effectiveness of civil society to assist the government in achieving their goals.

While new HIV infections in South Africa have declined by a third over the last six years, there is still much to be done to end the fight against the disease.

Mluleki Zazini of the National Association of People Living with Aids, discusses how businesses must assist their work. 

National Association of People Living with HIV/Aids (Napwa) is one of the four organisations benefitting from the Splash for Hope initiative. Napwa executive director Mluleki Zazini highlighted challenges including stigma, poverty and the profusion of ‘blessers’ taking advantage of young women in rural areas of the country that need to be addressed as part of the fight to end Aids. “It is up to businesses to support organisations like ours and continue the fight against HIV in the country,” said Zazini.

Victor Kgomoeswana directs the Splash for Hope programme at the Michelangelo Hotel, inviting businesses to donate to civil society organisations working to fight Aids in South Africa.
Photo: Sarah Koning

Acclaimed South African actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube is one of the ambassadors for the Splash campaign. During his address to guests at the breakfast, he pointed to the problematic idea of masculinity in South Africa as one of the major contributors to the Aids crisis in our country.

“Once masculinity can get itself right, the world will be a better place. Fathers need to speak a gospel of transformation to our sons in order to break the cycle,” said Ka-Ncube.

Deputy chairperson of Sanac, Mmapaseka Steve Letsike said that though she is pleased with the successes achieved in South Africa in the fight against Aids so far, there is still much to be done to eradicate the disease affecting seven million people in South Africa.

“We desperately want to close the tap on new infections and change the narrative in our country,” said Letsike.

Businesses and influencers are called to fill the gap in funding for civil society organisations left by foreign donors and play an active role in sustaining their businesses and ending Aids nationwide.

Mulaudzi Hulisani, Walter Malaka, Khosi Mncube and Ntswaki Koloko enjoy their breakfast at the Michelangelo Hotel as they prepare to contribute to the fight against Aids. Photo: Sarah Koning

South African actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube says that the problematic version of masculinity practised in our country is one of the factors contributing to the growth of HIV.

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