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Shoprite Holdingsshoprite derails efforts to end violence against women and children in rural limpopo

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Our organisation www.tvep.org.za is striving to address violence against women and children in the Vhembe community of Limpopo. We have a grant from the EU to conduct 5-day dialogues to a total of 1, 200 people - 600 this year, 600 next year. To encourage them to attend these dialogues, we give each person a stipend of R200. Instead of giving cash, we decided to give them Shoprite vouchers. The first order of 200 vouchers took 5 days to reach us instead of the promised 3 days. At the last minute we had to divert the delivery to the campaign site, and they arrived literally one hour before the end of the dialogues, when they were due to be distributed. We had spent two days on the phone to Letitia, in a total panic trying to chase up the delivery. When we confirmed receipt with her, on the phone, we did not - in the stress of the moment - remember to FORMALLY ask for them to be activated, and she said nothing. As a result, the dialogue participants used R30 of their own money to travel to the nearest Shoprite in Louis Trichardt, did their shopping, only to have their vouchers declined. Consequently, a community meeting was held and the community informed. Your lack of care has trashed our efforts - God knows how we will overcome this; we have set wheels in motion to broadcast what happened repeatedly over MakhadoFM, and will be placing an announcement in the Mirror Newspaper. You could redeem yourselves with public apologies, and vouchers of R30 to compensate participants who travelled to Shoprite, but Letitia is washing her hands of this matter. The balance of the vouchers we need, valued at R200, 000, will be purchased from SPAR instead. What a huge disappointment this has been.
Fiona Nicholson [protected]/ [protected]

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