PRETORIA – Huawei Technologies has handed over a million rand donation to South Africa’s Department of Health, to support efforts to fight and contain the spread of the covid-19 virus.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize – who also received a further R2-million from the South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association, at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria – says the money will be used for testing and managing the outbreak.
The Minister hailed the donation as a very important mark of friendship, solidarity and partnership from Huawei and other Chinese businesses.
He went on to say that there has been a huge amount of lessons that South Africa and the world has learnt from China’s management of the virus. The Minister thanked China for looking after South Africans in China and emphasized that despite some 80 000 infections, not one South African had been infected there.
Huawei South Africa CEO Spawn Fan says, “We are a committed ICT and social partner to South African business, government and society; this donation is our obligation as a concerned party.”
Fan added that digital connectivity would help to make the management and containment of the virus more efficient.
“We believe that the power of connectivity and technology and we are committed to harnessing ICT in the fight against Coronavirus in South Africa and on the continent. In China we saw the success of remote education, remote health services and working from home during quarantine periods. Coronavirus is not just a threat to life, its knock-on effects on livelihoods and the economy must also be managed. “
This week, with the support of Huawei’s video conference system, African officials held a meeting with their Chinese counterparts on the best way to manage the coronavirus pandemic. While information and experience sharing are increasingly recognised as key element in fighting COVID-19, this was the first meeting of its kind.