SAB supports the fight against COVID-19

Last week the Gauteng Health Department announced its list of needs which included a request for donation of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves for frontline health workers who are integral to the global response to COVID-19. Ensuring that these heroes are supported is vital to fighting the virus. It is against this backdrop that SAB is donating 100 000 face shields, made from recycled beer crates.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise globally, we’ve reached an instance where we are nearing almost two million cases. But more than ever before, in South Africa – entrepreneurs, businesses and philanthropists, are pledging their support in unprecedented ways. Proving that deep within every crisis lies an opportunity to create something beautiful and this pandemic has uncovered a renewed sense of unity among South Africans.

SAB PPE
SAB’s face shields made from recycled beer crates

Flatten the curve

COVID-19 has forced the world at large to adapt and unite to flatten to curve and limit its spread. With governments in most countries implementing numerous measures to restrict the movement and interaction between its citizens. While here at home, our government is also doing everything possible to ensure the safety and wellness of its citizens, this is a humanitarian, social and economic pandemic which requires a joint effort from all sectors to step up to help the fight to flatten the curve.

According to Zoleka Lisa, vice president of Corporate Affairs at SAB, “Covid-19 may have changed the landscape in which we operate, but it has not changed our values and what we stand for as a business. We have spent more than 125 years bringing South Africans together through beer and have provided direct and induced employment while ensuring that 97% of our products are sourced and produced locally.”

Change in operations

For SAB, the last few weeks has meant a drastic change in operations. Not only for our team on the ground but also identifying how to adapt the manufacturing element of our business to assist in providing critical items to all those in need in the fight against the virus. According to Lisa, “People are at the heart of our business, and our top priority remains the safety and health of our people and communities. As a business, our aim is always to help and improve the lives of those in our communities where we operate because we know that by building healthy communities, we create a thriving nation.

“While there is considerable uncertainty about the tough times ahead, this presents an opportunity for business to band together and support their biggest supporters. SAB has a number of smaller businesses that rely on our partnership with them for their livelihood – these businesses are most at risk.

“We understand what it means to be a small business because we were one ourselves. Our retail partners, especially taverns, have been hit hard by the lockdown. Most owners are the primary and often sole breadwinners that have to support large and extended families. Most have not had an income for weeks and may not have income for the foreseeable future. We need to help them survive this difficult time and help them feed their families. So we will be donating food vouchers to 17 000 taverns across South Africa.”

Other COVID-19 support efforts by SAB are focused on areas where they can have the most significant impact by activating their brands to engage and inspire consumers. Gender-based violence is a big social challenge, and according to Minister Cele, in the first week of the lockdown, there were 2 300 complaints concerning gender based violence. Statistics show that during this time, many women are in isolation with those they fear most and are unable to speak up. To assist those without a voice, Carling Black Label expanded their #NOEXCUSE campaign to provide a platform for people seeking help without having to make a sound by providing them access to the right organization through a text-based service. All they need to do is to send the word “BRAVE” via WhatsApp or text to 0800 150 150 to get the help they need.

Lisa concludes, “There truly is strength in numbers. Through unity and cooperation with the government, we can flatten the curve and help protect the health and wellbeing of all South Africans. By supporting our partners and helping our communities through this difficult time, we will come out of this stronger. We encourage all businesses and individuals to do the same, as we stand together at a distance.”

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za