Standard Bank boosts COVID-19 fight with R750 000 donation
PRETORIA – Standard Bank South Africa on Monday donated R750 000 towards the fight against the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has so far infected more than 79 000 people globally.
Standard Bank chief executive Sim Tshabalala said although there was a considerable need for financial injections in South Africa, companies could not fold their hands during a global health disaster that had already affected economies worldwide.
“This disease, this epidemic has the ability to affect the entire world so it is in our own interests to ensure the eradication of it. Secondly, and more importantly, as South Africa we believe in showing solidarity … with the Chinese people,” said Tshabalala in Johannesburg.
“This is not just a Chinese issues, it affects the entire world,” he added.
Receiving the cheque from Tshabalala, the Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, said the bank's “generous donation” displayed an allegiance to his country's fight against the virus.
“We never forget that some days ago, hundreds of staff member from the Standard Bank were collectively wearing red clothes, symbolising good luck and victory in China, to express your best wishes to China and the Chinese people.
"Today, you are here to donate such a big amount of money to China. What the Chinese government and people have received from you is not only the money itself, but the best complements, solidarity, strength and firm support to win the fight against the global epidemic,” said Songtian.
“On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Mr Sim Tshabalala, CEO of the Standard Bank and the whole family of the Standard Bank for your great decision and generous donation.”
Songtian said “massive and effective efforts” at all levels of Chinese government and society had been made to contain the spread of the virus.
A national quarantine campaign had been launched, he said, with military and civilian medical staff in attendance. Resources and daily supplies from other provinces had also been mobilised to support the city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - and the Hubei province.
“After over one month of arduous fight, China has achieved positive and inspiring outcomes in combating the epidemic. In the past few days, positive results have been achieved in the whole country and in Hubei province. The number of both the new confirmed and suspected cases has been declining continuously. The death [toll] remains low and the cure rate has been increasing significantly.
Earlier this month, Pretoria company U-Mask donated a consignment of face masks to China, where demand has spiked since the outbreak.
African News Agency (ANA)