“I want to thank our structure, the Progressive Business Forum [PBF], led by Sasha Muller, for organising all this. A few weeks ago I made a call that we would like to see business assisting.
"Government alone cannot succeed,” Mashatile said at the handover of the 10,000 food parcels donated by the Chinese companies.
“Many of our people are complying with lockdown regulations, they are staying at home. They cannot go work and therefore they can’t organise food. This is a big initiative and we are going to make sure that these food parcels reach those who are most deserving.
"I must stress that the food must go to the most vulnerable.”
The PBF said when it called on businesses to partner in interventions to assist hungry South Africans, the Africa-Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce and the SA-China Cross Border E-Commerce Association quickly mobilised their business community and within 48 hours they committed to provide the 10,000 food parcels to the Gauteng Covid-19 initiative.
Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa Li Nan told reporters at the event that Pretoria has been decisive in its interventions against the coronavirus, and the people of South Africa have responded positively.
“Since the Covid-19 first hit South Africa in March this year, the South African government has taken swift and decisive actions to enforce national lockdown, so as to cut the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
“The South African people actively responded to the call of the government to quarantine themselves at home and avoid moving around, thus making important contributions and great sacrifices for the prevention and control of the Covid-19.
"However, as an unintended consequence of the lockdown, many people have encountered the inconveniences and difficulties of work and life.”
To alleviate the economic hardship on communities, Li said over the past few days, the local Chinese enterprises and Chinese communities in South China have generously donated anti-pandemic supplies to local government agencies and food parcels to the needy.
“Last week on Tuesday the Chinese Longyuan Mulilo [De Aar] Wind Project donated R2,37 million worth of medical supplies and food to the local government and community in the Northern Cape province, and on Thursday, the Bank of China Joburg branch handed over 100,000 masks, 600 protective gowns and five ventilators to the department of health, which is worth R2 million,” the Chinese diplomat said.
“These cases fully demonstrate the solidarity between the Chinese people and South African people in fighting against the pandemic. Persistence is the secret of victory. The aim of today’s donation ceremony is to show support for the South African people.”
Li said under the “strong leadership of President Ramaphosa”, South Africa is bound to win the fight against Covid-19.
After putting up an arduous fight against coronavirus, Li said life in China is gradually returning to normal.
“Now the production and social life are gradually going back to normal in China. Moreover, by successfully containing the spreading of coronavirus, China has also bought valuable time and made great contributions to the international fight against the pandemic,” he said.
The Chinese Embassy said since the outbreak of the pandemic in South Africa, the Chinese government, Chinese enterprises and Chinese communities in South Africa are delivering on the target of donating 4,3 million masks, 60,000 testing reagents, 20,000 testing kits, five temperature detectors, 13,000 sets of protective suits, 4,000 protective goggles, 1,250 forehead temperature guns, 30 ventilators, 10,000 medical shoe covers, 30,000 gloves and R3 million.
African News Agency