R1.5bn follows Motsepe, Rupert pledges

PSL Lockdown News

After the multi-billion rand pledges made by two owners of South African football clubs, a further R1.5bn donation has been made to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed a R2bn pledge was made by the Rupert and Oppenheimer families for aid of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises.

Johann Rupert, chairman of the Investment Holding company Remgro Limited that owns Stellenbosch FC, is said to have indicated that the funds should be disbursed through his company Business Partners to assist SMMEs in financial distress.

Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe followed suit with a further R1 billion donation days later after the government announced a 21-day national lockdown.

Now, Naspers confirmed on Monday that a donation of R1.5bn has been made available in emergency funding to aid the government in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

According to Fin24, R500 million has been sent out to the Solidarity Response Fund, while R1 billion will be invested in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies in China.

"By working with government and civil society we want to help our country overcome this very difficult period," Naspers SA CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa said.

"We hope this combination of support will help to make a difference in SA’s response to COVID-19."

Meanwhile, News24 reports that South Africa will not be building new hospitals to cope with possible increases in the number of COVID-19 cases needing hospitalisation.

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the NICD and WHO)

• Avoid contact with people who have respiratory infections

• Maintain social distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing

• Practise frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus

• Practise respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.

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