The consequences of COVID-19 have had a debilitating effect on South Africa’s vulnerable population and will continue to have such effects as the economy continues to decline. From job losses and food shortages to many struggling to make ends meet while the invisible virus inclines.
As national and local governments have hit the ground running in ensuring the needs of the poorest in communities are met during this time, what can corporates in the private sector do? To commemorate the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a global advocate for equality and a stringent passion for ubuntu, Crossmoor Transport has heeded the call to prioritise the poor and the marginalised within the towns in which they operate.
“The recent surge in coronavirus cases in Gauteng has passed the 30 000 mark with the City of Johannesburg and City of Ekurhuleni as the identified metropolitan areas now considered as epicentres of the virus. Ekurhuleni North 2, where Boksburg is situated has over 2500 cases and with Gauteng numbers expected to peak these numbers will undoubtedly increase. This means this city is yet to endure the lasting effects presented by this virus and while we are able to alleviate the financial burden on indigent families, restore hope for many and ensure the safety of those living within the vicinity of our operation is guaranteed,” says Keshia Patchiappen, spokesperson for Crossmoor Transport.
According to Cllr Frans Mmoko, MMC for Community Safety in the metro, since the Covid-19 outbreak, CoE has been challenged to present scalable solutions which speak directly to the unique number of issues faced by our people in different communities. One such identified issue has been that of food shortages and other necessities such as toiletries due to economical strains. “Our department know the socio-economic conditions of our people and as it is difficult to meet the needs of all at once, that’s why partnerships such as the one we’ve carved with Crossmoor Transport are greatly appreciated as they help us carry out our mandate to serve all our locals during this crisis,” says Cllr Mmoko.
The transport company donated over 100 food parcels to families in Benoni and Boksburg as the financial impact of this virus has left many without a plan on how to meet much-needed necessities. According to Patchiappen, during these hard times, it is vital for corporates to knit well-functioning relationships with the municipalities in which they operate to figure out a way to assist the hardest hit by this crisis and leverage existing community initiatives to alleviate the financial crisis faced by local governments as well.
“As a company driven by changing lives in communities, we believe if we serve our people well and take care of them, they will take care of us too. Izandla ziyagezana and the onus is on companies like ours who can act to act, and make a difference in our communities” concludes Patchiappen.