The South African alcohol industry is assisting the government's efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic by donating personal protective equipment (PPE) worth almost R20m over two months.
This contribution is a joint initiative, with all members of the alcohol industry – including retailers, manufacturers, National Liquor Traders Council, South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA), the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), Vinpro and the National Liquor Traders Council – contributing towards the project.
Spokesperson for the alcohol industry Sibani Mngadi said, “The industry made a commitment to the government to support the country in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. We proposed a new social compact that included an investment of R150m
into direct harm reduction interventions and programmes over the coming year and embraced economic recovery strategies, and commercial commitments, such as this supply of much-needed PPE, including M95 respirators.”
Following consultations with government departments, including the Department of Health (DOH), critical PPE was identified as the support most urgently required. Jointly, they identified 24 key hospitals in Covid-19 hot spots that urgently needed PPE - six in Gauteng, five in Western Cape, six in KwaZulu-Natal and seven in Eastern Cape.
Mngadi confirmed that all the PPE items would be medical grade, and would include masks (N95 and disposable), gloves, face shields, and coveralls/jumpsuits.
SALBA CEO Kurt Moore commented, “The total planned investment of this PPE project (procurement and distribution end-to-end) is R20m. We are following very strict governance protocols and vetting procedures and are working closely with both national and provincial DOH to ensure the PPE is distributed to the correct hospitals.”
Mngadi added, “We are still in the midst of a pandemic and we can’t let our guard down. All the stakeholders must work together in establishing the collaborative, social compact that will contribute to ensuring the safety of our frontline healthcare workers as well as preserving the life and the livelihoods of the country’s citizens."