President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his gratitude after Naspers donated a consignment of about six million masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) worth R1 billion for health workers on Thursday.
Ramaphosa, who was touring Takealot’s distribution centre, said he was grateful for Naspers and China’s assistance in supplying medical equipment, adding more was on its way.
He added he was also impressed with the logistical set-up at Takealot which would distribute the PPE throughout the country.
“We are beginning to have more and more of these, and we believe that we would be able to spread these around the country,” Ramaphosa said.
This followed a commitment by Naspers of R1.5 billion in emergency aid to the country, Fin24 reported.
Naspers has donated R500 million to the Solidarity Fund and is procuring R1 billion worth of PPE and other medical supplies through its partnerships with Tencent and the Chinese government.The first PPE shipment consisted of 275 600 KN95 masks and 100 000 face shields and arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on 20 April. It was the first of multiple shipments that will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers.
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China’s acting ambassador to South Africa, Li Nan, said the purchase by Naspers of equipment from China was a signal by China to maximise production and open its medical supplies market to South Africa.
“Naspers is an important shareholder of Tencent and the success story of Naspers itself is a model of close co-operation between China and South Africa.
“Today’s event once again demonstrates our two countries’ strong determination and concrete actions to fight as one against Covid-19,” Li added.