Old Mutual Limited today announced that it would be pledging R50-million toward a comprehensive COVID-19 response, in partnership with government, business, labour and civil society. This relief package would primarily be channeled towards educational initiatives that address both immediate and emerging needs across the sector, brought about by the impact of COVID-19.
The business has, over the past two weeks, been actively engaging its partners via the Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) channels to ensure that the delivery of relief efforts is aligned and effective.
Director of Corporate Affairs and Responsible Business at Old Mutual, Maserame Mouyeme, explained that the group's contributions would include a mix of monetary donations, service and distribution capabilities as well as project management resources to support national, regional and local relief efforts. Education is one of the core pillars of our Responsible Business Philosophy and in our discussions with partners, we noted with concern both the direct and indirect impact COVID-19 would have on our country's education sector. With this pledge, our ambition is to stand in the gap for learners across the country, providing necessary services and programmes that help to minimize and add value to the sector during this challenging time.
While initiatives and programmes continue to develop, the Group announced the following immediate actions out of the pledge:
- An initiative to provide nutrition to thousands of children who would not be able to access school feeding schemes as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. This is in partnership with The National Department of Basic Education, in support of The Department’s National School Nutrition Programme, together with international and local NGOs;
- The provision of hygiene awareness, e-learning and other materials to support continued learning during school closures;
- The provision of financial education across all of its markets with a specific focus on managing the impact of COVID-19. Specific media interventions are already taking place across different platforms including digital and radio in all languages;
- Old Mutual employees will be able to contribute to relief efforts through the Old Mutual Staff Volunteer programme in South Africa, one of the largest payroll giving schemes in South Africa. An initial contribution of R2-million from the Staff Volunteer programme has already been committed, with further support expected from thousands of employees in the coming weeks;
- Old Mutual has identified key properties in its portfolio that can be utilised as depots and is engaging authorities to make these available as and when the need arises, and finally
As our business marks 175 years of operations this year, we are now more cognisant than ever before of our role as an agent and facilitator of change in the communities where we operate. As we collectively work to address the impacts of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, Old Mutual will continue working with all stakeholders to support the economy and assist the vulnerable.” concludes Mouyeme.