Sun International

Photo: Supplied

Solidarity Fund: Sun International donate R2 million after customer pledge

Sun International has paid over R2 million to the Solidarity Fund, after more than 15,000 members of its loyalty programme pledged their leisure points for this purpose

Sun International

Photo: Supplied

Hotel and leisure giants Sun International have paid over R2 million to the National Solidarity Fund set up to help South African through the ongoing health crisis. 

The donation comes after more than 15,000 members of Sun International’s loyalty programme pledged their leisure points to the Solidarity.

The kindness of strangers

At the outset of the national lockdown, with all its facilities closed to the general public Sun International froze all leisure and casino points accumulated by its Most Value Guests (MVGs).

Sun International’s MVGs have since been given the option to either retain the points until such time as they can use them or donate them to the Solidarity Fund.

Each of these points carries a rand value which can be redeemed at any hotel or leisure facility within the group but at least 15,000 customers have pledged their rewards to the fund.

Sun International set up their own charitable fund to which the funds would be diverted.

This donation comes against the backdrop of South Africa’s tourism sector facing massive job losses and an uncertain future.

The company’s CEO said they believed that the MVG point money would be better spent by the Soldarity Fund.

“We were considering practical ways to respond to the crisis when a number of our MVGs asked us to set up a charity fund to which they could contribute,” Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming said this week. 

“The points represent a hard cost to us that we would have to pay over to whichever property they are redeemed at, so it made sense to divert the rand value of donated points to the Solidarity Fund instead.

“Right now, we are all focused on fighting the COVID-19 virus, but a bigger economic battle is looming. The hospitality, gaming and leisure industry has been particularly hard hit, so the economic hardships facing smaller businesses and individuals resonates deeply with us. We applaud the many MVGs who responded with compassion and generosity.”

Solidarity Fund thank Sun International

Interim CEO of The Solidarity Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni expressed gratitude for the generosity of both Sun International and its patrons.

“It is through the collective efforts of contributors like Sun International and their 15 000 customers that enables The Solidarity Fund to support the national health response, contribute to humanitarian relief efforts and mobilise South Africans to drive a united response to the COVID-19,” said Nqweni.

“This generous donation will directly benefit those impacted by the pandemic and help The Solidarity Fund to make a real difference by providing Personal Protective Equipment to our frontline health workers, testing kits and food relief to vulnerable communities, amongst other important initiatives.”