The South African Chamber of Commerce (UK) #SolidarityWalk, which began last month, offered South Africans an opportunity to show solidarity with the country as it copes with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Different localities, regions and countries can set up their own routes for walkers to walk together, socially distanced, for mutual moral support, or participants can choose their own routes. Donations for the #SolidarityWalk fundraising appeal can also be made easily and safely via the SA Chamber website.
The Chamber is an umbrella organisation and conduit for trade and investment into and out of South Africa. It aims to bring under one concerted effort, a forum and meeting point for businesses who have an interest in both the UK and South Africa to facilitate the development of business opportunities.
The walk is aimed to raise awareness and support for the Solidarity Fund which the Chamber has commended for its transparency as an independent private sector initiative that is bolstering the national response to overcoming the effects of the pandemic.
In a show of solidarity for the challenge, Tembi Tambo, South African High Commissioner in the UK, encouraged those participating in the South African Chamber of Commerce challenge to: “Walk tall, walk fast and keep smiling!” while Nigel Casey, UK High Commissioner in South Africa, said: “By walking this weekend we can help get SA back on its feet.”
Football legend Lucas Radebe kicked off the walk-in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ahead of the walk, acclaimed former Springboks rugby captain, Francois Pienaar, who aimed to complete 120 miles with his family walking along the coast in Cape Town, commented, “I’m asking South Africans (and friends of our nation) to put their legs on the line and walk to freedom from this virus.”
Fellow Springbok legend Andre Snyman said, “I have played rugby for my country but I have never walked for my country. Today I walk for my country. “He covered some 30 miles along with his family in Idle Valley Nature Reserve in the East Midlands of England.
He commended South Africans at home and abroad together with friends of the nation who supported the #SolidarityWalk saying: “We are stronger together and while I am not on the ground in South Africa, I am here in England showing my support and raising awareness for those affected by COVID-19 in South Africa. I will always be #ProudlySouthAfrican.”
“Queen of Rock”, Karen Zoid praised the walk’s fundraising effort for the Solidarity Fund. She said, “I am proud and happy to be part of this campaign to raise funds by South Africans in the UK and globally in support of those most in need.
“Award-winning singer, PJ Powers said, “There are South Africans worldwide wanting to help with our pandemic plight and that is what the Solidarity Walk initiative is all about.”
Sharon Constançon, South African Chamber of Commerce chairman, commended the Chamber leader, who walked 30 miles over the UK bank holiday weekend. She said, “I am so proud of South Africans and friends of the nation globally who came together for such a valuable cause,” she added