Dis-Chem pledges R12 million to deal with SA’s challenges

Dis-Chem pharmacy store. Picture: Karen Sandison/ Independent Newspapers.

Dis-Chem pharmacy store. Picture: Karen Sandison/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Nov 7, 2023


Dis-Chem has pledged R12 million, R1m for every point scored in the Rugby World Cup (RWC) final match, to be directed towards tackling South African challenges.

The retail pharmacy's CEO Rui Morais was so inspired by the sentiment change in South Africa following Saturday’s Springbok RWC victory, that he penned a letter to Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his team. The letter celebrated the big shift in sentiment brought about by the Springbok’s momentous fourth RWC win.

Dis-Chem said that as a national brand committed to doing national good, it would commit to fund one sustainable and measurable project, per month, at R1m, over 12 months.

"Each project, which will be identified with input from Dis-Chem staff, will address relevant concerns. This corporate pledge is separate from the support given to vulnerable causes by the Dis-Chem Foundation."

In the letter, Morais wrote:

To Siya, the team and everyone involved in our incredible Rugby World Cup win!

Momentum is a powerful force – both positively and negatively.

To add to momentum is incredibly easy – it snowballs, but to change its direction can prove unbelievably difficult!

I am an incredibly proud South African, and have a strong belief that, as before, each of the challenges that face our country, and its people will ultimately be navigated into the past.

There is a stubborn resilience to South Africans – which no one embodied better than yourselves starting with your wins in the knock-out stages and ultimately with the final triumph on Saturday evening.

I generally get my own perspective on South Africa’s directional momentum and the morale of the country and its people from my morning runs. Arguably, it is a very small sample, but it is often a true reflection of how South Africans are feeling.

Every morning – as I do a customary run to help my clarity of thought – I greet whomever I see along the way. I feel an obligation to share a greeting with a fellow South African – regardless of their purpose, their reason to be on the road or their general daily mood.

Recently the extent of the reciprocal greetings – the hello or good mornings back – have been less forthcoming. To me it signals the directional momentum that our country is experiencing with the many challenges we all face.

This Sunday it was different – you guys created, in my very simple assessment of South Africa’s directional momentum, a positive and sizeable shift in our nation’s energy and sentiment.

I ran past 15 people on my run that morning – every single person greeted me – in some instances before I could greet them!

I realised the impression that your momentum-shifting victory had on our nation. It wasn’t only about uniting us – it was simply one event that brought out a better version of each of those individuals including myself that lead to shifting our personal momentum and the positive impact that then transpires.

It inspired me, through our Group, to think of ways to invest in the start of this momentum change, to take that moment of good and ensure that we deliver on the responsibility to continue that.

We thank you for creating the platform, through your victory, to inspire us to add to changing South Africa’s momentum!

Dischem intended to kick off the first of the 12 projects with its staff on December 15, with the balance to roll out during 2024.

Meanwhile, Pick n Pay Clothing said last week it had offered free rugby T-shirt printing to customers who bought a tee from their affordable, locally made 100% BCI cotton T-shirt range.

More than 42 000 tees were printed over eight weeks, with almost half printed in three days leading up to the final match on Saturday, the retailer said in a statement.

MTN South Africa, principal sponsor of the Boks, also announced last week it would contribute R30m to the SA Rugby Growth Fund, R10m per year for the next three years, in recognition of the historic victory.