Never in the history of democratic South Africa have we been confronted with a more challenging situation than the current COVID-19 pandemic. To help with response to the pandemic, all South Africans are being called to play their part and ensure that our country’s people and economy are protected and prosper.
On 23 March this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of unprecedented measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19. He also announced the formation of the Solidarity Fund, an independent relief fund to care for those impacted by the pandemic. As the nation began adapting to the ‘new normal’ – President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move from a Level 5 to a Level 4 lockdown as of 1 May in a continued effort to flatten the curve.
When the initial announcement was made, Exxaro committed its contribution to safeguard the nation’s well-being and productivity. As part of this commitment, the company donated R20 million to the Solidarity Fund.
“We are committed to playing our part to ensure the country’s ability to effectively fight COVID-19,” says Exxaro CEO, Mxolisi Mgojo. “The Solidarity Fund is a powerful example of how South Africans can stand together in times of crisis.”
The funds donated will assist in the following areas:
- Health Response: Direct support for the healthcare system, augmenting both the private and Government healthcare sectors to ensure they have what they need, as well as enabling emergency supplies.
- Humanitarian Aid: Providing humanitarian aid and support to the country’s most vulnerable households and communities.
- Solidarity Campaign: Mobilising citizens while inspiring behavioural change to flatten the curve and manage the pandemic.
In addition, through the Exxaro Chairman’s Fund and the Exxaro Foundation, the company released a further R3.45 million to assist the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces with community needs such as improving water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as supplying them with food parcels, PPE and other consumables. Exxaro is also assisting clinics around their operations with hygiene supplies like thermal scanners, surgical gloves, masks and sanitisers to the value of R 525 650.
“At all our operations, we have taken a number of steps to ensure that our people are protected from the risks of COVID-19,” continued Mgojo. These include a self-screening questionnaire for daily use by employees, with suspected cases referred for testing at pre-approved laboratories. And in addition, thermal scanners have been installed at all access control points.
With testing capacity predicted to come under severe strain, Exxaro is also currently evaluating the opportunity to develop private testing capacity at selected operations. Finally, we have identified several facilities that can be used for quarantine and self-isolation.
“Never before has there been a more pressing need for all South Africans to stand together and each do our part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” urged Mgojo.
Whether staying at home, continuing to do our jobs, or caring for the most vulnerable people in our society, together we can beat this pandemic and power a brighter future for all.