A leading South African-Indian businessman, who started off as an electrician, has given a major boost to a new fund for children orphaned by AIDS, with a contribution of a quarter million rands.
Vivian Reddy, who runs the Edison group of companies, has asked all other businesses in South Africa to make similar contributions in the national interest to the Orphans of AIDS Trust Fund.
The province of KwaZulu-Natal, where Reddy’s companies are based, has the largest HIV-AIDS infection rate in the world and scores of children are reportedly being orphaned daily as their parents succumb to the disease.
The trust was initiated about three weeks ago after discussions between Reddy, Goodwill Zwelithini, king of the Zulus who make up the majority in the province, and Per Njorvig, consul of Denmark in Durban.
It will be administered by the Independent Newspapers group, which has undertaken to absorb all administration and running costs for the project.
“Every cent that is contributed will be used for AIDS orphans,” Njorvig said.
Apart from money, a campaign to collect a million teddy bears for distribution to the orphaned children has also been launched by the trust.