The Sharks rugby union has raised close to R2 million to help those who have been affected by the violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

Through their #HandsofHope campaign, the Durban-based rugby union aims to uplift communities that have been hardest hit by the protests.

The Sharks were scheduled to play the Bulls on Wednesday in Durban in a now cancelled midweek Currie Cup match.

Sharks CEO, Eduard Coetzee says: “We’ve got unbelievable stakeholders and ownership groups use some of American owners who already raised in excess of R2 million for this. It will help as we want to have a soup kitchen to provide meals to people, then we will have food parcels that we can drop off in communities that are perhaps a little bit outside of CBD who’ve been affected.”

Coetzee says they will use some of the funds to invest in the rebuilding of some of the businesses that have been attacked.

“We want to help people whose businesses have been looted or destroyed to build them up again, so you want to put some capital set aside to invest in the rebuilding of some of the businesses. Through the projects we can help create sustainable employment for people who have lost their jobs because the companies they work for, for instance had burnt down or looted, you know, we can play a part in a few of those company in coming back and employing people again,” he says.

Damage incurred by the business community in the province is estimated to be around R10 billion.– Report by Nonhlakanipho Magwaza

KZN businesses count their losses following looting: