BMW South Africa Joins Red Cross in fight against Covid-19

BMW South Africa Joins Red Cross in fight against Covid-19
  • Loan of 17 BMWs will help South African Red Cross Society access marginalised communities in urgent need of help
  • Majority of loan cars are Rosslyn-built BMW X3s
  • Underlines BMW SA’s commitment to South Africa and its people

BMW Group South Africa’s contribution to the fight against the spread of Covid-19 stepped up a gear today as the company loaned 17 BMWs to the South African Red Cross Society.

The Red Cross has asked for assistance to help it reach marginalised and poor communities that have been badly impacted by the lockdown regulations required to mitigate against the uncontrolled spread of the virus.

The cars, the majority of which are Rosslyn-built BMW X3s, will be used by the Red Cross to reach these communities. In addition to the provision of screening and contact tracing, the cars will assist with the distribution of hot meals and food parcels, the dissemination of information in six languages, the elimination of coronavrius myths, and the provision of psycho-social support to volunteers and emergency personnel engaged in anti-Covid-19 operations.

Effective assistance.

Tim Abbott, CEO: BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, said the loan of the cars was aimed at providing help where it is needed most.

“The Red Cross is a symbol of hope for people in need across the world, and it really is an honour to support their work in the fight against this terrible virus in South Africa,” Mr Abbott said.

“I hope that these 17 cars – especially the locally built X3 SAVs - make it possible for the Red Cross to get to more remote and marginalised communities, and to take that symbol of hope with them.

“We’ve been building cars in Rosslyn for nearly five decades. We’re part of this country and we’re committed to its future. More than at any time I can remember, now is the time society needs to come together and help each other where we can. I’m delighted to make these cars available to the Red Cross. If we all do our bit to help, we’ll get through this together,” Mr Abbott concluded.

Red Cross can now offer a more comprehensive service.

Mabel Koketso, interim CEO of the South African Read Cross Society, said that the society “depends on donations from generous institutions like BMW South Africa to carry out its statutory mandate of providing humanitarian services across the length and breadth of South Africa”.

“The loan of the vehicles by BMW allows the SARCS to provide a more comprehensive service.  The SARCS can now reach more people and widen its geographical coverage in all branches.  The Mpumalanga region has just been re-opened, and the vehicle that will be deployed there will ensure that more people can receive services”, she said. 

Ongoing targeted assistance.

In April, BMW South Africa responded the call for help from the Gauteng Department of Health for donations of face masks and other protective gear for emergency services personnel.

In response, the company handed over 40 000 high-quality protective respiratory (FFP2) face masks to the department in order to help protect health services workers.

Seamless servicing of essential services vehicles.

Many essential services use BMW Group vehicles and it has been important to the success of the national lockdown that these people have remained mobile. Specified BMW retail partners have stayed open across the country throughout the lockdown to ensure the quick and effective servicing of these vehicles. Now, under Level Four lockdown, all BMW service centres are open for business.

This has meant that vehicles driven by the South African Police Services, Metro Police departments, medical personnel and the private vehicles of essential services workers have had the servicing and roadside assistance support they have required from the outset of the lockdown.