The global health crisis we face today is an unprecedented challenge for our society. Our Board of Directors and member companies have immediately responded to this crisis through doing what they can to help their employees, the South African community, and government through various initiatives.
Here are some of their stories:
As a company dedicated to saving and improving lives, MSD South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa recognises that we have a special responsibility to help. MSD remains focused on: protecting the safety of its employees and their families, assuring that our supply of medicines and vaccines reach our patients, contributing our scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches, and supporting our healthcare providers and the communities in which they serve. Thanks to our colleagues, our manufacturing plants and clinical supply sites remain open in South Africa and around the world, and we are taking steps to make sure that continues to be the case. Some of the other ways in which we are supporting the global and local response are outlined below. In research, we have enormous experience in inventing antivirals and vaccines. We have a team of scientists assessing internally available antiviral candidates and vaccine assets for potential to impact the COVID-19. MSD has shown through our work on our Ebola vaccine – the first and fastest WHO pre-qualified Ebola vaccine in the world, that we know what it takes to get a vaccine across the finish line in a global public health emergency like the one we are facing now. But we also appreciate that the path to a new medicine or vaccine is not fast, nor is it easy. As was the case with many diseases, we are optimistic that our industry’s efforts will create new tools to combat this coronavirus. This pandemic underscores the need for our company and our industry to continue to invest in research for the greatest health threats. Read more>
Coca-Cola in South Africa is helping to cushion the impact of COVID-19 for the most vulnerable South Africans, by contributing R17 645 000 to the Solidarity Fund and R3 525 000 to the Gift of the Givers. Since the March 22 2020, they have cut their commercial advertising across all brands and the spend was redirected to sharing health and safety messages on the company’s product labels, truck backs, and point of sale material, as well as on media like TV, radio and social. Their bottling partners Coca-Cola Beverages , are using their extensive distribution network to donate relief water, general beverages, food parcels, Personal Protective Equipment and care kits to health workers and vulnerable communities across the country. They continue to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees is prioritised whilst lending support during these uncertain times.
Dow Southern Africa has joined hands with Plastics SA to ensure clean hands in Cape Town’s most vulnerable communities. Social distancing and good hygiene are two practices that are at the centre of the fight against COVID-19. Thousands of people living in Cape Town’s poorer communities and townships, however, do not have access to clean, running water in their homes in order to regularly wash their hands. In an effort to reduce the risk of cross infection in the Mother City’s most vulnerable communities, Dow Southern Africa partnered with Plastics|SA and the Justice Coalition to distribute 20 liter PacXpert plastics pouches – lightweight, refillable bags, containing soapy water – to COVID-19 action community groups operating in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Woodstock and Wynberg. We have dedicated teams in place to replenish the bags with soap and water twice a day. The City of Cape Town’s Solid Waste Department also received 80 of these bags for use on their trucks by waste collectors.The PacXpert pouch is an award-winning, flexible and sustainable alternative to using conventional containers. It lightweight, durable, refillable and easy to use thanks to its distinctive cube shape that makes it very stable. The pouch stands equally well upright, on its side or cab be hanged. It can also be re-used many times over and is fully recyclable.
The Community Chest of the Western Cape have partnered with Johnson & Johnson, and since the start of the national lockdown, have distributed over 200 pallets of emergency aid and hygiene products to 18 organisations serving 120 beneficiary communities. Collectively, these organisations serve a further 200 grassroots NGO’s. Contributions to this initiative are welcome.
Procter & Gamble South Africa (P&G) has committed to donate over 9 Million Rands in the form of cash and product to the South African Government as well as to Non-Profit Organisations across the country to provide support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. P&G has a long history of supporting communities in times of need all around the world. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, P&G globally has stepped up its commitment to be a force for good and have been working with long-standing partner organisations to provide support to communities, relief agencies and people impacted by this challenging situation. So far, globally P&G’s in-kind, product and monetary donations add up to tens of millions of dollars across more than 200 relief organizations, more than 30 brands in more than 30 countries.#Forceforgood
American Tower Corporation has donated R1 million to the Solidarity Fund, R500,000 to FoodForward SA, and R500,000 to Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Each1Feed1. Executives pledged 1/3 of their salaries for three months to the Solidarity Fund and other charities.
Gilead announced the creation of the global Gilead CARES (COVID-19 Acute Relief and Emergency Support) Grantee Fund to provide financial support to current grantees facing an imminent closure or termination of vital services due to losses attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide up to $20 million in donations to these nonprofit groups.
Google expanded its SOS Alerts linked to the Ministry of Health and other COVID-19 education and prevention efforts. It is countering harmful COVID-19 misinformation and ads, funding fact-checking, offering cloud computing credits for vaccine/treatment research, and supporting small businesses through ad credits and access to capital investment.
HP Inc. is mobilising its 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to deliver critical parts for facemasks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts.
John Deere is donating 9,000 facemasks to local agricultural organizations, farms, fruit-packers, and fresh produce markets. The company is also working with agricultural, transport, and port officials to ensure stable food production and supply.
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is accelerating development of a lead COVID-19 candidate vaccine and collaborating with local partners to ensure supply of its critical medicines, devices, and products in South Africa.
Caterpillar Foundation’s investment to support local communities across South Africa where the needs are greatest. As the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), is committing R1,040,500 to the South African Solidarity Fund to assist the country in its response to the unprecedented crisis. Read more>
Uber has contributed from a social impact perspective to South Africa during COVID. A few notable partnerships Uber have made include: