As part of the KZN Maskathon initiative, FNB and RMB are facilitating the donation of masks to 80,000 families from vulnerable communities of the province.
FNB has continued to partner with a non-profit organisation, The Unlimited Child, to distribute family mask packs via its validated network of early childhood development centres which include 1,200 creches in KwaZulu-Natal.
FNB KZN provincial head Asheen Magjee says the bank has kicked off the project (cumulatively worth R5m) by donating the first 10,000 family packs of masks already.
“We know that not everyone has access to masks, which are vital as government lifts lockdown restrictions and people go back to work and pupils go back to school. We have tried to find a way to channel support for this by partnering with clients and a local agency with reach.
"In this way we can help companies protect their workforce, support their customers who are producing locally, and most importantly, support children attending the early childhood centres, as well as their families.”
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Supporting local manufacturing
The fabric masks are produced in KZN by local garment manufacturers, all FNB clients, as part of the bank’s effort to support local manufacturing and contribute to keeping people safe.
The initiative is also aimed at enabling firms to source quality masks for their staff and create a platform to facilitate larger companies donating family packs of masks to the initiative. The local supplier companies are also part of the Proudly South African initiative.
A spend of every R1,000 on masks for a company enables the donation of three family packs. The mask packs (each worth R60) contain four multi-layered, washable masks and information about how to use PPE.
Said Kenneth Fowler, senior coverage banker at RMB: “This initiative demonstrates the value that can be unlocked through effective partnerships and collaboration. RMB aims to mobilise South African businesses to also procure masks through this initiative, and we are encouraging our clients within all our networks to follow suit. Not only will they be mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on their employees, they will also play a role in reviving an important sector in the KwaZulu-Natal economy by supporting local suppliers, and assisting impoverished communities.”