The fund focuses on efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help track the spread, care for those who are ill, and support those whose lives are disrupted. File Photo: IOL
The fund focuses on efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help track the spread, care for those who are ill, and support those whose lives are disrupted. File Photo: IOL

Solidarity Fund set to cushion the blows experienced by Covid-19 lockdown

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Mar 27, 2020

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Cape Town - To reduce the economic blows and challenges that businesses, employees and ordinary South Africans face during the 21-day lockdown, the government has established a Solidarity Fund.

Shortly after announcing the lockdown last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said businesses, organisations and individuals from different spheres and across the globe would be able to contribute to the fund to help “cushion” against economic difficulties.

The fund focuses on efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help track the spread, care for those who are ill, and support those whose lives are disrupted.

To ensure equity and proper governance, the fund has a board of eminent South Africans, chaired by Gloria Serobe and deputy chairperson Adrian Enthoven.

It is being administered by a reputable team of people drawn from financial institutions, accounting firms and the government.

The president has instructed that it fully accounts for every cent contributed and publishes the details on its website.”

African Monitor senior research manager Yared Tsegay said the economic impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown was going to be enormous, and would hit the vulnerable hardest.

“They do not have options like the more privileged. It is really commendable to see this kind of response of providing assistance to those who need it the most during these trying times.

“The response should be of similar magnitude. In times like these, it is the needy who need to be prioritised, the grassroots communities who are vulnerable and the poorest of the poor, as well as those generating their income from the informal sector,” he said.

Two of South Africa’s richest families, the Ruperts and the Oppenheimers, have each donated R1billion towards the relief fund, and a group of Muslim-based organisations consisting of Awqaf SA, the Muslim Judicial Council, Sanzaf and Islamic Relief SA, have collectively donated R1million for struggling communities.

Awqaf SA deputy chief executive Mickaeel Collier said: “The organisations immediately responded with R1m to be spent leading up to the lockdown.

Muslim relief and welfare organisations have already begun expending funds in poor communities across the country, providing relief in the form of hygiene and sanitation kits, water and non-perishable food items.

Customer service adviser Litha Mtati gives employees the confidence of financial security. “We need to consider people's health and the fact that people need to get paid. It decreases the level of exploitation of companies against employees.”

Bank details for cash donations: Standard Bank; Branch Name: Sandton City; Account Name: Solidarity Fund; Account No: 023070021; Account Type: Current account; Branch Code: 051001; SWIFT Code: SBZAZAJJ

All EFT payments should include an identity number/ company registration/trust number as applicable to facilitate your Section 18A tax certificate preparation.

For non-cash donations, call the fund helpline on 0860 001 001 between 8am and 6pm or download a donation form from www.solidarityfund.co.za and email the completed form to [email protected]

@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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