Naspers pledges R1.5bn for coronavirus fight

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Naspers SA CEO Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa.
Naspers SA CEO Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa.

Naspers has committed R1.5 billion in emergency aid to government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement, Naspers says the group will contribute R500 million to the Solidarity Response Fund announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa last week.

In addition, Naspers will buy R1 billion worth of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies in China – in partnership with the Chinese government and Tencent – to support South Africa’s health workers and fly it to South Africa as soon as possible.

“By working with government and civil society, we want to help our country overcome this very difficult period. We hope this combination of support will help to make a difference in South Africa’s response to COVID-19.” says Naspers SA CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa.

Bob van Dijk, group CEO, says: “We realise these are tough times that require dramatic action and Naspers is contributing to the measures under way in South Africa. We want to thank the government of China and our partner Tencent for their solidarity. More details will be released as soon as we have them.”

The details of the personal protective equipment and other medical supplies are being finalised together with local South African authorities, partners and supply networks in China, the company says.

Meanwhile, giving an update to the nation on COVID-19 last night, Ramaphosa said: “In addition to the financial pledges announced last week, we welcome the commitment by the Motsepe Foundation of R1 billion and by Naspers of R1.5 billion to the coronavirus response.

“We are also extremely grateful to Mr Jack Ma, the founder of the China-based company Alibaba, who has donated vital medical supplies to South Africa and other countries across Africa.”

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