Sappi donates essential items and products for COVID-19

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The masks are distributed along with instructions to everyone

In an effort to provide some relief during the COVID-19 Coronavirus global pandemic, Sappi Southern Africa has made availableseveral donations of scarce items such as; hand sanitise, face masks, nutritional porridge and paper products, to reduce pressure on the National Government’s resources as well as to support the most vulnerable during these extraordinary times.Following countrywide shortages in the supply of hand sanitiser, Sappi’s science and research centre based in Pretoria was able to refocus its efforts to produce the company’s first prototype hand sanitiser. This led to a partnership with a Johannesburg based company to produce 16,000 litres of Sappi hand sanitiser worth about R1million. Having been successful in these efforts, Sappi is now able to distribute the sanitiser to more than 80 community clinics and health care centres in the rural & peri-urban areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Sappi is also distributing sanitiser to its own employees and their families.While there remains a shortage on the required PPE for health practitioners in the country, Sappi was able to procure 15,000 surgical masks for community clinics and health care centres in Kwa Zu lu-Na t a l and Mpumalanga – enabling community health practitioners to perform their duties safely. In addition, Sappi has procured 19,000 cloth masks, which were needed for their own employees as well as providing access to their contractors who continue to deliver essential services during this time of national lockdown and who require essential PPE.

Again, seeing the need to respond rapidly to a situation, Sappi ‘s Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas was able to rent spare sewing machines from a local business, installed them at its Skills Centre and deployed six apprentices, to make cloth masks. Following a short guideline from the Internet, they are now producing 28 masks per hour, working towards the target of making a further 3,000 of these cloth masks. Post lockdown, Sappi will be looking into providing training.

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