Mary Oppenheimer has made an R1 billion contribution to the Solidarity Fund.
The donation is separate from the South African Future Trust initiative launched by her brother Nicky Oppenheimer on Tuesday and will be available to small businesses on April 3.
This donation is in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for corporate companies and individuals to help in the fight against Covid-19 in the country through the Solidarity Fund.
The key objective of the fund is to ensure that the most efficient and impactful allocation of capital is made to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable members of society.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-governmental organisations are not a focus of the Solidarity Fund.
“My daughters and I have thought long and hard about where we could make the greatest difference in this fight and have decided it is to support the humanitarian needs of everyone living in South Africa.
“So, we think that it is the Solidarity Fund which is most aligned to our concerns about basic needs, food, medicine, general care and gender abuse,” says Oppenheimer.
She says that Covid-19 hitting South African shores and resulting in a lockdown “is placing strain on all our lives – but especially on our vulnerable communities: South Africans who struggle even in normal times to meet the basic needs of their families, to buy food and pay for medical and other necessities.”
The Solidarity Fund announced this week that its immediate priorities are to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) to the tune of R100 million to protect health workers. The first batch will be purchased from reputable manufacturers in China for R52 million.
Five Covid-19 victims have died in South Africa and the number of cases has risen to 1 353, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday. Of the confirmed cases, 633 are in Gauteng.