In the history of humankind, never have we seen such a silent disruptor that has brought the world to a standstill. The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought uncertainty and apprehension to the world followed by widespread unity. Different countries, different circumstances, different challenges, different lifestyles and classes and somewhat different beliefs; the COVID-19 has proven that it knows no boundaries. The world faces one common adversary that threatens life as we all know it.
With some countries manoeuvring their way through their respective quarantines and others relaxing their restrictions, South Africans have to endure an additional two weeks of lockdown ending April 2020 with the aim to further manage and reduce the infection rate. The extension is warranted as President Ramaphosa indicated a 38% decline in the infection rate since the lockdown was implemented. Although the extension is a hard pill to swallow, it is for the greater good of the people, however the financial impact thereof will no doubt intensify with each day of no work for many people and businesses.
“Given this hardship, Ubank together with Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC) have joined forces to support government in combatting the negative financial impacts COVID-19 has brought to our people by contributing two million Rands towards relief efforts. One million Rands will be our contribution toward the Solidarity Fund and another million Rands will be dedicated to support current and former mineworkers and their families negatively impacted.” said Ubank Chair, Mr. Keshan Pillay.
“MIC recognises the hardship the disease will bring to our beneficiary base, and as an organisation with deep roots in the mining sector, MIC is honoured to participate in this joint venture with Ubank. Through the Mineworkers Development Agency, we will ensure that the collective contribution is effectively administered to ensure that we do our part to relieve food shortages for mineworkers, their families and surrounding communities ” said MIC Chief Executive Officer Mary Bomela.
“It is commendable to see that South Africa our beloved country, its people, Public and Private sector organisation, various political parties coming together to fight the scourge of COVID-19. It is even more commendable to us as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) that our people, our members are not forgotten during this time of hardship. The alliance between Ubank and the Mineworkers Investment Company is saluted as it is directed at the most vulnerable. I know that our members will be eternally grateful and on behalf of them, hats off to you both.” said NUM, General Secretary Mr. David Sipunzi.
“The million Rand dedicated to support current and former mineworkers and their families will be in a form of food parcels. Ubank will work with its partners, the MIC and NUM to ensure that these funds are stretched to support as many families as possible. The contribution will benefit the needy families from areas where the mineworkers are based as well as the poorest families from the labour-intensive areas. Food parcels are the most effective route as this will help reduce unnecessary movement of our people and as such it will help mineworkers and their communities to abide by the lockdown protocols,” concluded, Pillay.