Sun International has paid over R2m into the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund, after more than 15,000 of its loyalty programme members pledged their leisure points for this purpose.
The Solidarity Fund was created on 23 March 2020 to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa. It is a platform for the general public, civil society and the public and private sector to contribute to the consolidated effort to fund various initiatives.
At the start of the national lockdown the company froze all leisure and casino points accumulated by its Most Value Guests (MVGs). Each leisure point represents R1 in value and can ordinarily be redeemed at any hotel or leisure facility within the group.
Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming said: "We were considering practical ways to respond to the crisis when a number of our MVGs asked us to set up a charity fund to which they could contribute. The points represent a hard cost to us that we would have to pay over to whichever property they are redeemed at, so it made sense to divert the rand value of donated points to the Solidarity Fund instead.
"Right now, we are all focused on fighting the Covid-19 virus, but a bigger economic battle is looming. The hospitality, gaming and leisure industry has been particularly hard hit, so the economic hardships facing smaller businesses and individuals resonates deeply with us. We applaud the many MVGs who responded with compassion and generosity."
On behalf of The Solidarity Fund, Interim CEO of The Solidarity Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni expressed her appreciation, saying: "It is through the collective efforts of contributors like Sun International and their 15,000 customers that enables The Solidarity Fund to support the national health response, contribute to humanitarian relief efforts and mobilise South Africans to drive a united response to the Covid19.
"This generous donation will directly benefit those impacted by the pandemic and help The Solidarity Fund to make a real difference by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our frontline health workers, testing kits and food relief to vulnerable communities, amongst other important initiatives."