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How Covid-19 catalysed collective, cooperative philanthropy in SA

Following on from its virtual workshops held earlier this year addressing the impact of the biggest issues arising from Covid-19, the Independent Philanthropy Association of South Africa (IPASA) will from 3-4 November host a virtual philanthropy symposium to encourage South African and global foundations to share their experiences from the pandemic.
How Covid-19 catalysed collective, cooperative philanthropy in SA
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“The Covid-crisis has been a catalyst for better cooperation and partnerships among foundations and other philanthropists as well as between the government, communities and the private sector and can be looked at as the one silver lining to a 'new normal' for this philanthropy world,” said Sarah Rennie, chairperson of IPASA.

Impact of the Solidarity Fund

To date, the largest form of collaboration in the Covid-19 emergency response was the creation of the Solidarity Fund. The fund has approved R1.980bn towards health interventions, R412m towards humanitarian relief efforts and R61m towards behavioural change programmes.

Adrian Enthoven, deputy chairman of the fund, reiterated: “The Solidarity Fund was established as a vehicle to unite all South Africans in a partnership aimed at combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. From the donations received to the work that we are doing to meet the needs of our fellow South Africans, our partnerships have played a crucial role in providing the expertise and support needed to respond rapidly and with targeted impact to the pandemic.”

South African Future Trust

Another significant example of effective collaboration was the South African Future Trust (SAFT) which was established with an initial donation of R1bn from the Oppenheimer Generations Foundation. This fund subsequently attracted further donations from foundations, corporates and individuals to the value of R134m. SAFT partnered with six banks to distribute the interest-free loans to SMMEs and extended loans totalling R1.04bn to 9,656 SMMEs. This in turn facilitated direct payments to around 92,993 employees. The trust’s immediate aim was to extend direct financial support to SMME employees at risk of losing their jobs or suffering a serious loss of income because of the Covid-19 crisis and national lockdown.

“As a result of the commitment and collaboration between all parties involved - including government, our partner banks and internal teams across Oppenheimer Generations, SAFT was established days after the start of lockdown level five and we were able to make the first employee payments only a week later,” said Bridget Fury, head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies.

The Annual 2020 Review of Southern African Philanthropy virtual launch takes place on 3 November to discuss and review the results of projects that have embraced collective philanthropy during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it will have on the future South Africa.

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