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Old Mutual pledges R50 million to help fight COVID-19

The country will be going on a 21-day lockdown as of Thursday midnight to try to curb the spread of the virus.

Picture: @OldMutualSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Old Mutual Limited on Wednesday announced that it would be pledging R50 million toward a comprehensive COVID-19 response, in partnership with government, business, labour and civil society.

The country will be going on a 21-day lockdown as of Thursday midnight to try to curb the spread of the virus.

So far, 709 cases have been confirmed by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

In a statement, Old Mutual’s director of corporate affairs and responsible business explained that the group’s contributions would include a mix of monetary donations, service and distribution capabilities as well as project management resources to support national, regional and local relief efforts.

“Education is one of the core pillars of our Responsible Business Philosophy and in our discussions with partners, we noted with concern both the direct and indirect impact COVID-19 would have on our country’s education sector. With this pledge, our ambition is to stand in the gap for learners across the country, providing necessary services and programmes that help to minimize and add value to the sector during this challenging time.”

Out of its pledge, Old Mutual said it would provide nutrition to thousands of children who would not be able to access school feeding schemes as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and other relevant stakeholders.

WATCH: COVID-19 - Situation Desk - 25 March 2020 AM

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said that businesses were already offering to donate money to the Solidarity Fund.

The fund, kick-started by donations of R1 billion each from the Rupert and Oppenheimer families, is intended to help mobilise business and civil society to back government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The fund will be chaired by Wiphold founder Gloria Serobe and philanthropist Adrian Enthoven. The government has provided R150 million in seed capital, of which R100 million comes from Treasury and R50 million from the National Lotteries Commission.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.