Brand South Africa calls on citizens to take action amid President Ramaphosa’s declaration on COVID-19


Johannesburg, March 18, 2020:

Brand South Africa has today urged citizens to play their part in helping the country to curb the adverse effects of coronavirus, commonly referred to as ‘COVID-19.’ According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this pandemic has resulted in over 180 000 people world-wide testing positive, with numbers likely to increase in the immediate future.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective immediate action by governments, businesses and individuals. The WHO states that businesses have a key role to play in minimising the likelihood of transmission and impact on society. Early, bold and effective action will reduce short-term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy.

Speaking from Johannesburg, Brand South Africa Chairperson, Ms Thandi Tobias-Pokolo said that the President’s declaration was a significant milestone in taking urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect citizens, and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and economy. “The fact that we have imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020 demonstrates the seriousness of this crisis,” says Tobias-Pokolo. “It is therefore imperative for us as citizens to take heed and keep ourselves informed about the pandemic.

Our National Department of Health has been keeping the nation informed from day one, but we cannot defeat this challenge without every citizen playing their part. Tobias-Pokolo said she was concerned about the distasteful behaviour by some individuals, most notably fake news. “With more than 7 000 lives lost globally, it is inappropriate to spread fake news camouflaged as insights.” she added. “As Brand South Africa, we urge our fellow citizens to remain calm and take all the necessary precautions as articulated at various platforms by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

During this period, we must invest our efforts in protecting the most vulnerable including children and the elderly. We encourage every person to exercise social distancing. This is where employers also have a role to play in that, workers who render non-essential services should not necessarily be at the office every day and should consider alternative communication tools as a means of managing productivity.

As Brand South Africa we have implemented precautionary measures for our employees to manage possible exposure to the virus and potentially infecting others, whilst we try at the same time to meet our official deliverables,” said Tobias-Pokolo. To echo the address of the President on Sunday 15th March 2020, this is indeed a defining moment in our country … a Thuma Mina moment.  As a Nation, we will overcome this challenge.

When together we all play our parts in acting as one with the shared vision of a healthy and prosperous South Africa, we will indeed succeed. This is the vision of Brand South Africa. Important contact information: Corona Virus Outbreak 24-hour Hotline Number: 0800 029 999

  • Stay informed on #COVID19 #CoronavirusSA
  • Join the WhatsApp support for South Africans, say “Hi” to 0600 123 156
  • Go to
  • Visit National Institute of Communicable Diseases’ website:

Issued by Brand South Africa For more information, contact: Matalane Ngobeni Tel: 011 483 0122 Email:  Notes to the Editor About Brand South Africa Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone. Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all. This electronic communication and the attached file(s) are subject to a disclaimer which can be viewed at .

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