“God bless Africa and Her people,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa as he concluded his national address yesterday on COVID-19. In the address the country received the announcement of the nationwide lockdown extension by a further two weeks beyond the initial 21 days.
The President said the extension will be used to evaluate how the National Coronavirus Command Council will embark on risk-adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy, allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions.
A tough pill to swallow, but one that is in the best interest of the country. Brand South Africa would like to encourage citizens to continue playing their part in ensuring the curb of the Coronavirus.
“The war is not over, however, we are making positive strides as a country. It is not an easy task and I commend each and every individual that has committed themselves to fighting the deadly pandemic. As we observe Passover and Easter celebrations, let us pray for our country and its citizens, for this too shall pass”, said Brand South Africa’s Acting CEO, Ms Thulisile Manzini.
In summary the extension strategy is made up of three parts:
- Firstly, an intensified public health response to slow down and reduce infections.
- Secondly, a comprehensive package of economic support measures to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.
- Thirdly, a programme of increased social support to protect poor and vulnerable households.
The government, together with many partners, has used the lockdown period to both refine and intensify the public health strategy to manage the Coronavirus.
“Let us intensify our efforts to protect ourselves and loved ones, preventive measures are key during this extension, remember to adhere to social distancing, wash your hands regularly and importantly stay at home. To the businesses and leadership of the country we say thank you for your contribution to the Solidarity Fund”, adds Ms Manzini
“The Solidarity Fund has raised around R2.2 billion and already around R1 billion has been allocated to buying sterile gloves, face shields, surgical masks, test kits and ventilators”, said President Ramaphosa.
Other donations thus far include; 20,000 cell phones by Vodacom for health workers that will be involved in screening and tracing in communities. The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R3 billion for the procurement of essential medical supplies.
To contribute to the Solidarity Fund visit www.solidarityfund.co.za
Brand South Africa will continue to support the government’s efforts to inform and educate citizens on the Coronavirus, as well as the precautionary measures implemented. Citizens can take a pledge of solidarity to show their commitment to end the spread of the Coronavirus by visiting the Play Your Part mobi-site which has been developed to encourage engagement and support.
Speaking on COVID-19 impacts on the Nation Brand image, Ms Manzini said; “Our Nation Brand image has taken severe lashings however, an important factor to consider in managing a reputation during a crisis is quick, decisive and solutions driven reaction, which is what our leadership has demonstrated. We are a resilient country that can withstand tough times and able to work together for the betterment of its people”.
To learn more about the Play Your Part pledge visit www.playyourpartsa.co.za