ASLA Foundation Article

On Wednesday 16 August 2023, the ASLA Foundation officially handed over the extension of the Cape Agulhas Safe Haven to Heavenly Promise48, the NPO managing the facility. Attendees included Cape Agulhas Municipality Manager Eben Phillips and other municipal representatives; representatives from the Department of Social Services and Department of Health, from ASLA, the ASLA Foundation and Heavenly Promise48, the project sponsors and supporters, as well as members of the community and some local residents.

The original community facility was funded and built by ASLA Construction in 2015, and was impelled by the tragic death of 17-year old Anene Booysen, who had been gang-raped and assaulted close to the community housing being constructed by ASLA.

The expansion project was motivated by the ever-increasing requirement for spaces of safety for abused women and their dependents. The project, which commenced in 2022, forms part of a continued focus by the ASLA Foundation (the social impact investment arm of the Western-Cape based ASLA Group and an NPO), on developing community-benefiting projects. “The Foundation would like to facilitate the implementation and construction of more essential facilities such as school infrastructure, libraries and places of safety such as the Cape Agulhas Safe Haven,” says the foundation’s administrator Mervin Green. “Our intention is to use this facility as a benchmark, as there are many opportunities to construct social infrastructure within the vulnerable communities across ASLA’s geographic areas of operation.”

The Cape Agulhas Safe Haven extension includes a 12-sleeper dormitory, two bathrooms, an office, and a counselling room. The facility was fully furnished, and the stoep area enclosed to allow for more privacy for the temporary residents. The kitchen has doubled in size and been fitted and furnished to catering standards, to enable Heavenly Promise48 to provide meals to hundreds of people in the local informal settlement. Meals are prepared on Monday’s using groceries donated by the local Checkers supermarket, and on Thursday’s meal packs are handed to residents, to prepare at home. “Our communities need more facilities like this one, where we are able to offer victims of abuse some safety, reprieve, comfort, counselling and advice while they are finding their feet again,” says Lana O’Neill from Heavenly Promise48.

This extension project was made possible through the generous support and funding by the National Lotteries Commission, ASLA Construction, ASLA DEVCO, MOOV Fuel and Lubricants, AECI Much Asphalt , Sizabantu Piping Systems (Pty) Ltd and the Kwikamva Group. “We are incredibly grateful to all contributors for their support,” says Green. “Partnerships with like-minded organisations enable meaningful social investment, and without them we would not have been able to make this essential upgrade and extension happen.”

For more information on how to partner with the ASLA Foundation, contact Mervin Green or 082 990 0287.