One South Africa Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has started a fundraising campaign to buy hand sanitisers which will be distributed to public transport networks.
Maimane revealed his campaign on Twitter on Wednesday in a bid to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
He wrote, “Over the past days I’ve engaged with businesses and individuals to source funding for hand sanitisers to be distributed on buses, taxis and trains etc.”
‘Now is the time to unite’
Maimane added, “We’ve received many donations and I’m now calling on all South Africans to partner with me and give what you can to beat this!
“Now is the time for South Africans to unite, look after the poor and vulnerable, and play our part in defeating COVID-19.”
The ex-Democratic Alliance (DA) leader appealed to all South Africans to donate whatever they can to his campaign.
He gave the campaign’s banking details as follows: Bank: First National Bank; Account Number: 62845943192; Branch Code: 209809; Reference: StopCOVID-19.”
Confirmed cases at 116
Maimane’s initiative follows his appeal to members of the public earlier this week to avoid hoarding and panic buying of hand sanitisers and food supplies.
He tweeted, “The most important thing right now is not to give into panic. Hoarding and panic buying will lead to price increases and make it difficult for the vulnerable to access commodities they need. We are in this together. We need to think about each other and practice Ubuntu.
“I understand the fear. I understand the desire to protect ones family. I have a family myself. If we panic though we hurt everyone including ourselves. If one of us can not find hand sanitiser, that allows the continuation of the spread. We have to think of the whole system.”
South Africa had a total of 116 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday morning. Of these, 14 were cases of local transmission.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said earlier this week that random screening measures will be applied at taxi ranks and train stations. Taxis and trains will be also be sanitised, he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema also called on the private sector, particularly big business, to play their part.