A big donation to fight Covid-19 in KZN
Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) announced a multi-million-rand pledge towards supporting the fight against Covid-19 in KwaZulu-Natal.
The province is of particular significance for the brand as the home to its manufacturing facility in Prospecton.
Signifying its commitment, TSAM signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the provincial health department and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.
The relief package will include as much as R15m to provide testing equipment, hospital facility support, 10 Hilux models for contact tracing and 50,000 face shields in the region.
The MOA was signed at an event last week attended by TSAM president and CEO Andrew Kirby, provincial head of the health department Dr Sandile Tshabalala and acting city manager Sipho Cele.
Except for the capital raised for testing equipment, which was raised by contributions from its business partners, Toyota said it funded the project in its entirety.
“We can never overstate the role and obligation of Toyota SA as a corporate citizen in our country. Our interventions are a response to the need in our community,” said Kirby.
“Due to an urgent need to increase testing in the city of Durban, TSAM, together with business partners, will provide laboratory testing kits in the form of RNA extraction and amplification equipment.”
“It is no cliché that the need is great, and we therefore need to pool our resources as businesses to make as much difference as we possibly can.”
The city of eThekwini will provide the facility for the testing centre and the human resources to operate the station. When the facility is operational, it will be capable of processing up to 5,000 additional samples per day.
“The second initiative falls within the spectrum of hospital facility support. We are proud to announce we will be refurbishing and upgrading the pharmacy at the Clairwood Hospital in Mobeni. The hospital has been substantially upgraded with a large number of beds to support Covid-19 cases. By supporting infrastructure development at the hospital we are enabling the efficient use of the beds and improving the level of health care," said Kirby
He said the fleet of 10 Hilux 2.4 SRX 4x4 double cabs will be availed for nine months with the express purpose of helping health workers reach sometimes inaccessible areas.
“The reality is that this disease is not going to miraculously disappear. We want to prevent a flare up or second wave, which has been the experience in many other countries, and the stats suggest KwaZulu-Natal may not be out of the woods yet.”
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said: “Since this pandemic hit our shores, we have witnessed a strong collaboration between government and the private sector in the fight against Covid-19. Toyota is one of the private sector companies that has been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic.
Premier Sihle Zikalala said: "For Toyota to make this donation when it has been severely affected by the pandemic shows its commitment to ubuntu."