Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) recently announced a multi-million-rand pledge towards supporting the fight against Covid-19 in KwaZulu-Natal. Premier Sihle Zikalala said: “For Toyota to make this donation when it has been severely affected by the pandemic shows its commitment to ubuntu”.
“The reality is that this disease is not going to miraculously disappear. We want to prevent a flare-up or second wave, which has been the experience in many other countries, and the stats suggest KwaZulu-Natal may not be out of the woods yet,” said TSAM president and CEO, Andrew Kirby who also attended the event.
To signify its commitment, TSAM signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the provincial health department and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality last week. Other attendees included the Provincial Head of the Health Department, Dr Sandile Tshabalala and Acting City Manager, Sipho Cele.
The relief package will include as much as R15m to provide testing equipment, hospital facility support, 10 Hilux models for contact tracing and 50,000 face shields in the region. The fleet of 10 Hilux 2.4 SRX 4×4 double cabs will be availed for nine months with the purpose of helping health workers reach inaccessible areas.
The city of eThekwini will provide the facility for the testing centre and the human resources to operate the station. When the facility is operational, it will be capable of processing up to 5,000 additional samples per day.
“We can never overstate the role and obligation of Toyota SA as a corporate citizen in our country. Due to an urgent need to increase testing in the city of Durban, TSAM, together with business partners, will provide laboratory testing kits in the form of RNA extraction and amplification equipment. It is no cliché that the need is great, and we, therefore, need to pool our resources as businesses to make as much difference as we possibly can,” said Kirby.
In addition, TSAM also announced that they will be refurbishing and upgrading the pharmacy at the Clairwood Hospital in Mobeni. The hospital has been substantially upgraded with a large number of beds to support Covid-19 cases.
“Since this pandemic hit our shores, we have witnessed a strong collaboration between the government and the private sector in the fight against Covid-19. Toyota is one of the private sector companies that has been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic,” added eThekwini Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda.