Operation Hydrate raises over R61 mln this weekend

The water drive aims to distributing water across the country to areas worst affected by the drought.

Organizers of the drive launched the weekend drive in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly SA hoping to receive R10 million in donations. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Operation Hydrate has managed to raise over R61 million in one weekend to provide water to the driest parts of South Africa.

The water drive started in the first week of January and aims to distributing water across the country to areas worst affected by the drought.

Organizers of the drive launched the weekend drive in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly SA hoping to receive R10 million in donations.

The operation's Yusuf Abramjee says it has been a phenomenal weekend with ordinary South Africans coming together to pledge their support by dropping off bottled water.

"The three-day water drive for the total amount of over R61 million. We've had government here, NGOs churches, mosques, ordinary South Africans and school children coming out and donating."

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DONATIONS POURED IN

On Friday, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the National Lotteries Board will donate R50 million to Operation Hydrate.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation opened its doors to collaborate with the water initiative and collect donations of bottled water.

Since the first week of January, the operation has distributed 3,5 million litres of water to those parts of the country hardest hit by the drought.

Operation Hydrate began with a hand full of civil society servants communicating over a Whatsapp group and has already distributed millions of litres of water to the driest parts of the country.

Minister Mokonyane commended the drive as she announced the pledge by the lotteries board.

"They found that Operation Hydrate is one of the critical things now; it is a deserving project that must be supported."

Mango Airline and Dischem donated 2,5 million litres of water to the cause.