Wednesday, 15 April 2020 20:38

Put your hands up,South Africa.

Image Supplied.
It has been roughly a month since the first confirmed South African COVID-19 case and two weeks into the country's first lockdown. This has shifted the way we live: breadwinners are not able to provide like they used to and the luxury of readily open stores has been revoked, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. Essential workers who commute to work daily using public transport are still at risk of infection. Wi-Taxi and industry partners have stepped in and created an initiative called #PuttingMyHandUp to protect and educate South Africans who travel daily by providing them with protective gear and renewed opportunities for education during this pandemic.

"The majority of essential workers in South Africa use public transportation to travel to and from their workplaces", said Brian Mdluli, Campaign Director on behalf of WiTaxi.  "They feel vulnerable to a threat they cannot see, and something needs to be done to make sure that they, along with their families, are protected. The #PuttingMyHandUp initiative has been created to bring awareness and protective gear, such as face masks, to millions of South Africans." The Covid19 crisis has also affected the labour pool and a lot of our South Africans may find themselves unemployed or under-employed during this crisis; #PuttingMyHandUp  will also partner with education providers to create a bursary fund to prepare people for the new reality of remote working.

Wi-Taxi and its media partners have secured 3,000,000 masks from a local manufacturer and they are challenging other businesses to pledge more masks to be donated to the commuter market and the general public. There are millions of our people in public transports daily, and this will help to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections in our country.

Brian also added that a South African manufacturer has firmly committed to providing these masks at a preferential cost, and they have in turn pledged to donate back 20% of all purchases to a managed fund to offer relief to everyone in the commuting sector affected by the lockdown.

Wi-Taxi and its partners realize the importance of protecting communities and this initiative is a step in the right direction. The first 110 000 masks were bought by Wi-Taxi and partners; many more pledges are received on an hourly basis.#PuttingMyHandUp