Food for the poor and hygiene awareness: Absa on Covid-19

Cape Epic sponsor Absa allocates R15m to food for the poor and hygiene awareness

31 March 2020 - 08:08
By TimesLIVE
Daniel Mminele. File image
Image: Russell Roberts Daniel Mminele. File image

Money intended for the Cape Epic cycling event has been allocated to vulnerable communities, sponsor Absa says.

The banking group has donated an initial R15m towards various initiatives aimed at dealing with the impact of Covid-19 in SA. Of this, R10m will go to the Solidarity Fund, and a further R4m to civil society organisations involved in the fight against the pandemic, and R1m for a range of preventive, protective and vaccine research initiatives.

Absa is redirecting R700,000 worth of food and supplies initially intended for the Absa Cape Epic in the Western Cape, which was cancelled, towards vulnerable communities that will be hard-hit during the lockdown.

“Absa recognises that Covid-19 is a serious public health issue that will have profound economic and social consequences. The rate of escalation in infections confirms that the steps taken by government to deal with this pandemic are both necessary and urgent ... Decisive action from all of us is essential to protect human life and socioeconomic sustainability,” said Daniel Mminele, group CEO of Absa Group.

The Solidarity Fund was established by government to support the most vulnerable to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The Fund will complement government resources allocated to the national public health response to prevent and slow down the spread of the virus.

In addition to the financial contribution, Absa has partnered with the department of social development and GovChat in a public awareness and hygiene education campaign using the bank’s sports broadcast advertising spots and prominent football personalities. Absa is the title sponsor of SA’s Absa Premiership league competition that is broadcast on DStv Supersport and SABC.

GovChat is a digital platform that connects ordinary citizens to government services. To help with the effort against the pandemic, GovChat’s service delivery notification service is being used to help citizens use their mobile phones to notify health authorities, and be directed to appropriate health facilities.

The data will also assist authorities to identify Covid-19 hotspots at any given time to manage resource allocation.