The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is designed so that each project is required to spend a certain percentage of their revenue on socio-economic and enterprise development activities in communities close to the project location. It is through these contributions that the IPPs are supporting communities in the fight against the impacts of COVID-19.
FOOD SECURITY: HAMPER DISTRIBUTION
Majority of residents within our priority areas rely on subsistence farming and/or temporary employment opportunities as means to provide for their families. The recent lock down restrictions forced many businesses to temporarily close, making it impossible for them to provide job opportunities. Rural communities were affected the most and many could not address the basic needs of their families. Letsatsi provided 280 food hampers to local communities which included Soutpan, Dealsville and Bloemfontein.
A local black woman owned business was appointed to supply and distribute the hampers. Many of the recipients of the food hampers as well as local authorities expressed their gratitude and indicated that the initiative did not simply address a dire need, but they were also dignifying.
Letsatsi partnered with the Free State Department of Education to ensure that when schools reopened on 1 June 2002, readiness programmes and measures to prevent the spread of the virus were put in place in order to to provide a safe and conducive environment for learners and educators. A total of 14 local school were provided with foot and hand sanitiser dispensers, 70% alcohol based sanitisers as recommended by WHO and the Department of Education, thermometers and masks for 11 075 learners and 467 educators. All dispensers were installed in classrooms and key areas in the schools.
School principals communicated their appreciation for the assistance provided, noting that schools could only accept what was provided by the Department of Education and resources were limited. Subsequent to receiving support, all 14 schools were deemed ready to reopen on the respective scheduled dates.
WATER SECURITY: JOJO WATER TANK STANDS
COVID-19 highlighted above other things, the importance of good hygiene. Access to water has been a focal point in many communities especially during the wake of the pandemic. Dealsville is one such community in the Free State that has experienced poor access to water.. The Department of water and sanitation Free State donated 10 jojo water tanks to the local municipality. These water tanks were however not elevated which presented a challenge with water pressure. Letsatsi procured and installed 10 jojo water tank stands in and around Dealsville using two local contractors. The Department of water and sanitation regularly fills the tanks with water from water tankers and this has ensured a reliable water supply within the community
LOCAL CLINICS PPE DISTRIBUTION
The pandemic has led to rising levels of shortages of PPE around the country leaving medical staff who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 at most risk. Letsatsi provided PPE to local clinics within its priority area. Ikgomotseng Clinic in Soutpan and Tshwaraganang Clinic in Dealsville were the two beneficiaries of surgical masks, 70% alcohol based sanitisers as recommended by WHO and hand soap.
“We are grateful for the donation from Letsatsi Power Project because our staff was anxious, felt exposed and were hesitant to provide care. The PPE provided a relief in more than one aspect and this was of need.” –Ms. ML Tebang (Tshwaranang Clinic Manager)
SMME PPE DISTRIBUTION
Lock down level 3 saw many businesses open their doors to clients under strict regulations which required businesses to have protective measures in place for not only clients but also their staff. Many of these small businesses were affected negatively by the lock down and could not afford to provide a regular supply of PPE. Letsatsi partnered with the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) in supplying small and informal businesses with PPE. Businesses were provided with 500ml bottles of 70% alcohol based sanitisers as well as face masks.
Letsatsi also supported SAMTI incubation center located in Bloemfontein. The incubation center provides operational space to 60 local SMME’s in the manufacturing industry. The center was provided with sanitisers as well as hand soap as means of ensuring that they comply with hygeine regulations.. The center was then able to allow businesses back into the incubation center for operations whilst implementing strict social distancing measures on the premises.
During the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imminent that the cost of fighting the virus would be overwhelming worldwide. Funds were needed for the procurement of personal protective equipment in healthcare, creation of temporary healthcare facilities, relief for businesses and funds to assist the unemployed. The Solidarity Fund invited all South Africans and corporates to stand with Government in donating funds that would be used to fight the impact of the virus.
Letsatsi heeded the call of the President and donated towards the Solidarity fund with the aim of supporting South Africans during the Covid-19 pandemic.