Government can only successfully address severe challenges that affect communities, such as the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, when it receives help from business and social partners.
A case in point is Sasol Limited’s recent donation of COVID-19 medical equipment and a mobile science laboratory to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government.
The donation was received by Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane at Nhlazatshe Clinic, in Elukwatini in the Gert Sibande District. Three mobile clinics, nine vaccine cold storage freezers, four vaccine cold storage fridges, 30 vaccine carriers and 30 temperature loggers were donated.
“These contributions will significantly boost the number of vaccines that we are able to administer across the district municipality, while also preserving the longevity of the vaccines,” the Premier says.
The investment by Sasol will assist concerted efforts to achieve immunity in the province by the end of this calendar year, she adds.
Sasol Operations and Assets Senior Vice President Simon Baloyi encourages residents to get vaccinated and assures them that vaccines are safe.
The donation was made possible by a Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the provincial government and Sasol in 2019. Sasol has actively empowered communities in the province as a result.
“Early in July, as part of our efforts to increase the rate of COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the Gert Sibande District, we reached out to Sasol and requested that it avail facilities to supplement our vaccination sites across the district.
“Sasol duly availed a facility, with the capacity to vaccinate 19 000 direct and indirect Sasol employees,” the Premier says.
“Following the launch of this initiative, the rate of vaccinations in the district increased significantly and we have fully vaccinated over 160 600 people in the district,” she adds.
One of the most significant challenges that communities face is lessening the impact of COVID-19 on the quality of education, the Premier says.
Prolonged absentism from school have worsened the challenges facing the education sector in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
To address this challenge, Sasol also donated a mobile science laboratory to the provincial government.
“This laboratory is capable of servicing around 1 200 learners in grades 10 to 12, while also supporting the existing learner support programme that targets nine schools across the Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality,” the Premier says.