Chiefs, Pirates join hands to donate equipment to frontline staff as SA’s Covid-19 cases rise to 2 506

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

South Africa has recorded 91 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus as of Wednesday night, bringing the total number of cases to 2 506.

This was announced by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize during a joint briefing on Wednesday in Randburg, Johannesburg, with MultiChoice Group and Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs football clubs.

Seven more people have died as a result of the virus, six of them from KwaZulu-Natal – bringing the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country to 34.

Gauteng has the most cases at 930, followed by the Western Cape with 657 and KwaZulu-Natal with 519.

The MultiChoice Group as well as both football clubs announced a joint donation to the healthcare sector of personal protective equipment to be used by the sector’s frontline staff.

Chairperson of the MultiChoice Group, Imtiaz Patel, announced the donation of 100 000 N95 masks, 300 000 surgical masks, 100 000 gloves and 10 000 gloves.

Pirates and Chiefs confirmed that their players will lead a social media campaign to amplify the government’s message around the safety protocols, which include encouraging people to stay at home. 

“Dr Zweli Mkhize has told us [that] the only way we are going to win is to work together. Every single one of us has a role to play. Right now in this difficult lockdown period, we are playing a role. 

“We at Orlando Pirates understand our leadership role in our sector and the economy at large. We have achieved even more when we have worked collaboratively with the other market leader Kaizer Chiefs. In the field of play, we are determined to beat each other at every encounter. [But] we have a history and culture of collaboration in matters of national importance,” said Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza. 

Chiefs founder Kaizer Motaung added: “On behalf of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, we are also equally proud to be associated with this partnership. And [we] feel that as government embarks on screening and testing campaign, this announcement and contribution couldn’t have come at a better time. Today is not about highlighting the size of the contribution. Today is about solidarity and sacrifice. Our players – from both Chiefs and Pirates – will embark on a nationwide social media public campaign in a bid to raise awareness and encourage everyone to stay at home and observe strict guidelines of personal hygiene to minimise the risk of getting infected."

Asked why other PSL clubs are not part of the joint venture, Khoza said: “The majority of clubs are family businesses. They are small to medium sized and the tragedy with them is that they are not on a payroll – they are the payroll themselves. But coming to the question on the contribution, because we are in a state of war, it's not a question of how much you can do, anybody can put what they can afford. And the clubs are contributing quite nicely according to the size of what they can afford."   
The group said they have already contributed R80 million to support local production companies and freelancers in their value chain during the lockdown period.

Mkhize also expressed his appreciation over the donation and said: “This fight is no longer a fight for health workers alone, it is for the whole of society ... It’s a very important gesture by the soccer fraternity who are highly supported in society. It was also very important that the sporting fraternity stepped up to the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to halt mass gatherings. If they didn’t cooperate, it would have been very difficult for us. It is a huge sacrifice for our people not to be able to go cheer for their teams and watch their clubs.”

Vuyo Mkize

Health journalist | City Press

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City Press is an agenda-setting South African news brand that publishes across platforms. Its flagship print edition is distributed on a Sunday.

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