South Africa’s largest technology and media group, Naspers, has announced it will provide R1.5-billion in emergency aid to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The group will contribute R500-million to the Solidarity Response Fund announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, it said. It will also buy R1-billion worth of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies in China – in partnership with the Chinese government and Tencent – to support South Africa’s health workers and fly it into the country “as soon as possible”.
Ramaphosa announced the Naspers commitment in a speech televised live to the nation on Monday evening.
“By working with government and civil society, we want to help our country overcome this very difficult period. We hope this combination of support will help to make a difference in South Africa’s response to Covid-19,” said Naspers South Africa CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa in a statement issued after the president’s address.
Group CEO Bob van Dijk said: “We realise these are tough times that require dramatic action and Naspers is contributing to the measures underway in South Africa. We want to thank the government of China and our partner Tencent for their solidarity. More details will be released as soon as we have them.”
Naspers holds about 31% of the equity in Tencent, which is China’s largest Internet company.
The details of the personal protective equipment and other medical supplies are being finalised together with local South African authorities, partners and supply networks in China, Naspers said. – © 2020 NewsCentral Media