by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – MTN has pledged R8 million in equipment and infrastructure as well as food parcels as it joins forces with government to curb coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in South Africa’s primary hotspots.
The network operator is stepping up support in Gauteng Province by providing critical information and communications technology (ICT) wares valued at around R2 million.
MTN is providing Wi-Fi access to all medical personnel and patients
within the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) emergency quarantine and healthcare facility at Nasrec, in Johannesburg.
The GDoH specified that they required 20 desktop computers and Wi-Fi connectivity to assist in running the field hospital.
MTN has provided the equipment to the value of R800 000.
In responding to the Office of the Gauteng Premier’s call for essential ICT tools, MTN is also providing 500 (7 inch) tablets, with 3GB data provision for three months, for community healthcare workers.
The tablets and data, valued at R1,05 million, will be used to capture and record information from community screenings in real-time.
MTN has undertaken to contribute a further 350 (7 inch) tablets to other provinces to support healthcare workers on the ground.
The value of this support is estimated at R650 000.
At a national level, MTN SA is distributing 5 500 food parcels, to the
value of R3,5 million, to worst-affected communities.
The donation will assist approximately 27 500 beneficiaries.
Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN SA, said by
harnessing the power of technology and leveraging extensive community network, developed by the MTN Foundation over the past 19 years, MTN could work with government to make a meaningful impact in curbing the spread of the virus.
“Sadly, it is the communities that have the least resources to mitigate the impact of this pandemic that are the hardest hit,” she said.
MTN SA’s support of the above initiatives, in addition to other forms of support provided over the past several weeks, form part of MTN Group’s R250 million relief package aimed at assisting to contain the spread of the virus across its 21 markets in Africa and the Middle East.
A total of R10 million of that relief package has been pledged to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund.
South Africa has 6 783 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 131 casualties.
– CAJ News