It’s not easy being a deaf person, but for learners at Yingisani Primary, a special needs education centre in Tzaneen, where the boarding school provides the optimal environment for receiving education and interacting socially. However, the location of the school makes it susceptible to fires, floods, windstorms and other hazards, and managing these risks for deaf learners requires careful intervention.
Santam’s support of the school through mechanisms to alert the learners, which includes smoke alarms attached to sirens and strobe lighting systems, has made it possible for them to respond quickly in the event of a crisis to secure their safety.
Informal settlements represent a particularly high risk when it comes to fire management and control. Santam’s Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) is designed to build resilience in vulnerable communities by working with the municipalities, fire services and community volunteers to develop practical solutions to the perils they face. From installing smoke detectors to providing skid units, which can provide access to informal settlements where conventional fire truck can reach, Santam is helping to strengthen the prevention and response capabilities of these municipalities.
Santam’s initiatives further extend to awareness training for children and community members using a mobile trailer that attracts attention in order to get the message across, and disaster simulations to help firefighters and other service providers to train and practise their response protocols for drastic emergencies.
Realising that entrepreneurs are going to be the backbone of our economy in the future, Santam is also supporting the growth of SMMEs with initiatives like the Santam Women of the Future Awards in association with Fairlady and TrueLove, inspiring more people to take the first step on this exciting and important journey.
It’s all about lives and livelihoods
Watch the stories
Short Story 1: Sewes Pretorius
Sewes Pretorius is the deputy fire chief at the Breede Valley Municipality. Part of his job is to prevent human casualties so often resulting from house fires in informal settlements. The makeshift roads and drooping power lines make access with a fire truck near impossible, but with the Santam-sponsored skid units, firefighters can do their jobs – to reach places they need to be to most importantly save lives and save property.
Short Story 2: Matome Mohlagafazi
Matome Mohlagafazi is the chairperson of the school governing body at Yingisani Primary. His daughter was born deaf, and he recounts her frustration and anger as they battled to understand each other. Now that she is a boarder at the school, she feels understood, and he is also learning sign language in order to have a positive relationship with his child. He chuckles that now they can see that she’s not so cheeky, because they know her a little bit better! With the safety and risk management interventions implemented by Santam, Mr Momagafazi knows that his precious daughter is both happy and safe in her boarding school environment.
Short Story 3: Cara Saven
Cara Saven of Cara Saven Wall Design was gloriously surprised when she received the 2021 Santam Woman of the Future Award in association with Fairlady and TrueLove. Cara’s business is rather niche, and she relays the complexity of wall design, working at such a large scale and every single one of her wall coverings being unique. Cara had a very successful career in the corporate space when she decided to become a stay-at-home mother. Now she has a wonderful team bringing her design ideas to life. She admits that when she started the business, she never imagined she would get this level of acknowledgement just for trying to make a living.
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