Solidarity Movement's plans to fight Covid-19

Offer made to govt to work together to stop spread of virus, and mitigate impact of measures in response

The Solidarity Movement announces plans to fight Covid-19

17 March 2020

The Solidarity Movement today announced comprehensive plans to fight Covid-19. The Movement also made an offer to government to work together to stop the spread of the virus and to mitigate the impact of the drastic measures that have been announced.

Included in the Movement’s plans are, among other things, a Corona Crisis Centre, collaboration with government’s disaster management centre, safety strategy, social support to communities, help with detection, support offered to schools, parents and learners, support and access to information given to people in workplaces, and giving support to artists.

According to Flip Buys, the Solidarity Movement’s chairperson, Covid-19 can usher in a new world. This virus can become a new point of reference in world history. It could have incredible economic and political consequences. The Solidarity Movement will go into crisis management gear,” Buys said.

The Solidarity Movement also announced that a crisis committee will sit on a daily basis to implement action plans according to the latest information.

According to Dirk Hermann, Solidarity Chief Executive, civil society will play a pivotal role in combatting the virus. Solidarity also established a Corona Crisis Centre to support people in the workplace in particular.

AfriForum CEO, Kallie Kriel, emphasised the importance of cooperation. “Political and ideological differences must be put behind us for now. South Africa now has one common enemy and that is Covid-19,” he said. According to Kriel government’s disaster management centre has already been contacted with an offer to help and to cooperate.

AfriForum’s community safety division also launched a special control room that will, among other things, coordinate safety-related challenges and will help with detection efforts.

Solidarity Helping Hand’s Executive Director, Hannes Noëth, expressed his concern over the social consequences the drastic steps will have. For example, the 8 000 pre-schoolers who get daily meals from Solidarity Helping Hand at their nursery schools will now suddenly not have access to meals. He called on the community to help address the impending social crisis.

The Solidarity Schools Support Centre also announced that Wolkskool, its Cloud school, will make thousands of videos, exam papers and work sheets available free of charge until the end of June to support learners doing their schooling from home.

It was also announced that special steps are being planned to support artists.

Akademia announced that its classes continue on its online platform.

In a nutshell, the Solidarity Movement’s Covid-19 crisis plan is as follows:

Collaboration with government

We have already reached out to government’s National Joint Disaster Management Centre. It is planned to collaborate at provincial and local level.

Solidarity’s Corona Crisis Centre to support employees

Here employees can find all job-related questions and answers, information on the virus and general information. A special crisis line will be established.

AfriForum’s central community safety control centre

Safety issues will be coordinated. Possible unrest will be dealt with. General strategic information will be received and processed.

Assistance with detection

AfriForum Safety has already offered to assist the National Disaster Management Centre with detection efforts.

Economic activity

Comprehensive plans to keep the economy functioning will be presented to the government. Solidarity will have talks with employers about the balance to be maintained between business and security.

Social support

Solidarity Helping Hand will deploy 15 social workers countrywide to enable communities to overcome social challenges resulting from interventions to stop the virus, and to overcome illness due to the virus.

Support for learners and parents

The Support Centre for Schools will make thousands of videos, work sheets, test papers and other assistance available on its Cloud School, free of charge, until 30 June to enable learners to continue their studies from home.

Information on the virus through e-learning and webinars
Through its S-leer platform, Solidarity will present a series of e-learning courses to inform children and adults about Covid-19. Webinars will also be presented weekly.

Support for the Arts:FAK (Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations), Maroela Media, the Solidarity Occupational Guild for the Arts and Dapper Media will roll out plans to protect artists. In the short term, efforts will be made to help alleviate immediate financial need, but in the medium and long term, we will look at electronic platforms and alternative forms of concerts.

National crisis committee and internal action

The Solidarity Movement has established a national crisis committee that meets daily to adapt action plans in accordance with the latest information. The Movement also cancelled all international travels, and domestic travel is kept to a minimum. Drastic measures are in place to prevent staff members from contracting the virus.

Issued by Flip Buys, Chairperson: Solidarity Movement, 18 March 2020