Click right this way for protective gear, Western Cape tells companies

06 May 2020 - 14:24 By TimesLIVE
One of the masks for sale on a new website aiming to connect suppliers with customers in the Western Cape.
One of the masks for sale on a new website aiming to connect suppliers with customers in the Western Cape.
Image: Martketplace

Western Cape companies that make masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) can sign up with a website that aims to link them directly with buyers.

The marketplace has been created by the provincial government, the City of Cape Town and Wesgro, the provincial trade and tourism promotion agency.

Finance MEC David Maynier said it was part of efforts to open up the economy without spreading Covid-19.

“To avoid a return to a hard lockdown, it is an imperative that every business that is operating now, or in the future, plays by the rules, and implements the necessary health and safety measures,” he said.

“The PPE marketplace is one of the many ways that we are supporting businesses to ensure their workplace is healthy and safe for both staff and customers.

“Companies are now required to provide every employee with a minimum of two cloth face masks, free of charge.”

The 22 companies that have joined the marketplace so far are offering cloth masks for between R11.50 and R50, and include textile and clothing manufacturers that have repurposed production capacity.

A statement on Wednesday said: “The platform allows you to view product information and submit a quote request directly to the manufacturer/supplier and allows business to source masks from large to small suppliers.”

The marketplace website is also promoting a Maskathon Challenge, which aims to donate 5-million fabric masks to poor people throughout the Western Cape.

Companies that buy equipment on the marketplace will be asked to donate masks to poor communities.

Stephan Claassen, the provincial head of First National Bank, said the bank had ordered masks for all its staff from the website.

“We want to use this as an effort to spark activity at various smaller cut, make and trim businesses and assist the suppliers across the manufacturing industry with opportunities to produce goods, thereby creating jobs where it they are most needed,” he said.