(Mthatha) – Acclaimed Mthatha-born businessman Sisa Ngebulana returned home recently to share in the spirit of giving with the disadvantaged rural communities who remain close to his heart.
Ngebulana, chairman of the Billion Group, which owns the high-profile BT Ngebs City shopping centre in the town, handed over more than R310 000 worth of food parcels and vouchers to families in Corona township, on the outskirts of Mthatha, and rural Libode on Christmas Day.
At Nyandeni Great Place in Libode, 125 families received food parcels while underprivileged pupils from various local schools were equipped for the new year with gift cards for school gear totalling R75 000.
In Corona, where property magnate Ngebulana was born, 120 less fortunate families were given food parcels to get their year off to a better start.
According to BT Ngebs City general manager Lolo Sabisa, it was very important for the mall, as the face of the Billion Group in the region, to take an active role in caring for the community.
“The chairman felt the need to host these giveaways as this town and the surrounding areas form an essential part of his upbringing. This is where he was born and raised, and his childhood friends and family are all here,” said Sabisa.
“Mthatha and its surrounding areas are sadly quite neglected, and the government grants and pensions are often not enough to sustain many disadvantaged families. So the food parcels and vouchers have helped to ease their burden and extend the festivities for a while.”
Sabisa said the mall was named for Ngebulana’s grandfather, who was a respected community leader and played a very influential role in his upbringing.
“So to honour his legacy, BT Ngebs City makes investing in community initiatives an essential part of its operations.”
After opening for trade just over 18 months ago, BT Ngebs City has become a household name in Mthatha, bringing top national and international stores to local shoppers. This has been done in line with Ngebulana’s vision to bring big brands to rural areas, which are traditionally overlooked in the retail mall space.