Winning Partnership for Nelson Mandela Bay

In a unique transformative partnership for Nelson Mandela Bay, Tavcor Motor Group is supporting community development by going off the electricity grid.

The win-win partnership between Ubuntu Pathways and Tavcor has resulted in the business investing over R5.6-million in infrastructure development costs into an eco-friendly deal that benefits some of the most marginalised communities of Nelson Mandela Bay.

The Sale of Asset Partnership is an innovative model of collaboration in which Tavcor Motor Group’s solar project infrastructure was sold as a donation to Ubuntu Pathways.

Tavcor Motor Group Human Resources Director Megan Stow said when looking for a beneficiary partner for the solar project, Ubuntu stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

“We are proud of the meaningful development work done by Ubuntu – they are a phenomenal example of what true empowerment is all about. They are a very ethical organisation and one we are proud to partner with,” said Stow.

Ubuntu Pathways offers cradle-to-career programmes for over 2 000 vulnerable children and their families in Zwide and the surrounding township areas of Nelson Mandela Bay.

“We entered into an ambitious solar project at the beginning of this year. All of the solar panels on the William Moffett Volkswagen and Audi dealerships’ rooftops are now owned by Ubuntu since the beginning of 2020. Ubuntu sells us back the power generated by the panels, and any additional electricity generated is pumped back into the national grid,” said Stow.

While Ubuntu benefits from the sale of electricity and ownership of the asset, Tavcor benefits from a better electricity rate than conventional Eskom rates, and the City benefits from additional power to the grid. This all while doing good for the environment – and the local community.

“The partnership will get stronger and stronger. We are looking at expanding the project locally and to the Tavcor dealerships in George. This transformative process is marrying the corporate social development element of our business with our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection,” said Stow.

Ubuntu Pathways Founder and CEO Jacob Lief said the sale of asset partnership offered a fantastic opportunity for Ubuntu to diversity its income.

“This partnership demonstrates the tremendous potential and impact such projects can have on locally-driven community transformation. As a largely donation-based non-profit, Ubuntu has, for years, endeavoured to diversify our fundraising model and create new sustainable streams of revenue. Tavcor's partnership enables Ubuntu to focus our energy and resources on sustaining and deepening our life-changing programmes in the townships of Port Elizabeth and reach even more vulnerable children with essential, lifelong cradle-to-career services,” said Lief.

These include primary health services and treatment and care for people living with HIV, the Ubuntu School for early childhood development and primary school education, job skills training and placement for unemployed youth, and a host of household stability support including case management and home visits.

“Sustainability has been a core tenet of Ubuntu's approach since our inception. We are proud to partner with Tavcor to not only promote green energy but to put forth an innovative model of collaboration that is investing in South Africa's most marginalised communities,” said Lief.