We celebrate our everyday heroes

Businesses across South Africa are finding ways to make a difference and give us hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.


One thing is for sure, as South Africans we stand together through thick and thin. Instead of seeing lockdown as an obstacle, businesses across the country are inspiring us by stepping up to do great things during these uncertain times.



After lockdown was announced, UCOOK, a food delivery company, changed gears and established the UCOOK Food Fund. Their mission? To feed as many people in need as possible. As an authorised essential food service provider, UCOOK can continue to deliver food during lockdown. A portion of every food box sold by them goes directly to the UCOOK Food Fund with UCOOK matching and doubling every donation. The company also supports 3 initiatives: FoodForward SA, Philippi Economic Development Initiative and Ladles of Love.

“The economic fallout caused by the lockdown is affecting both farmers and suppliers, and while the food system tries to right itself, the people who will be most affected are the homeless and those who can no longer afford to find a meal. We worked around the clock to finalise the UCOOK Food Fund partnership to help the people of South Africa,” said David Torr, chief executive officer of UCOOK.



A rather large stumbling block faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is the shortage of virus testing kits. Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, Daniel Ndima and Dineo Lioma of CapeBio developed a revolutionary testing kit that provides results in just 65 minutes.

“One of South Africa’s major challenges is our reliance on imported tests. Most countries are currently experiencing issues with supply and demand, which their governments are controlling with newly introduced trade regulations. This has caused delays in the delivery of imported testing kits and protective gear, and may impact on the delivery of vaccines once they have passed clinical trials,” Ndima said.

The CapeBio kits will help pathologists isolate and identify a virus’s DNA or genetic material from an infected person. This makes it possible to detect the virus accurately in a laboratory and mitigating South Africa’s reliance on imported tests.



Homeschooling while juggling work commitments is a reality many parents are facing right now. Fortunately, WorksheetCloud, an ed-tech startup founded by father and son Dereck and Adrian Marnewick, has come up with a unique solution: a way to live stream lessons across the country.

Within the first 2 days after launching their app, they live streamed lessons to 40 000 learners. But, instead of monetising this initiative, they opted to make the service free for the duration of the lockdown.

“The response has been amazing and our website crashed a number of times in the first few days due to the increased traffic,” said Adrian Marnewick. “We’ve had feedback from over 5 000 parents telling us how grateful they are for our educational support during the lockdown.”



While we’re not able to buy alcohol during the national lockdown, South African Breweries (SAB) refuses to sit idle. Instead, they are recycling plastic beer crates to make face shields and have pledged to make an initial donation of 100 000 masks to healthcare workers.

In addition to face shields, SAB is helping small businesses that have been severely affected by the lockdown.

“Our retail partners, especially taverns, have been hit hard by the lockdown, Zoleka Lisa, vice president of corporate affairs at SAB, said in a press release. “Most owners are the primary and often sole breadwinners that have to support large and extended families. Most have not had an income for weeks and may not have income for the foreseeable future. So we will be donating food vouchers to 17 000 taverns across South Africa.”



Masks, gloves and hand sanitisers. These are 3 things that have become important over the last few months and are often in short supply. But L’Oréal South Africa has answered the call for help and have started making hand sanitiser under their beauty brand Garnier. The initial run of 20 000 bottles of hand sanitisers will be donated to the South African COVID-19 Solidarity Fund.

“In this unprecedented crisis that is impacting so many people, especially in vulnerable communities, it is our responsibility to contribute to the collective effort,” Gilles Antoine, L’Oréal South Africa country manager, said in a press release.

Garnier hand sanitiser is also available from Clicks, Dis-Chem, Takealot, Checkers, Makro and Pick n Pay.


Nominate your heroes

Like these 5 businesses, there are many others that go out of their way to make life better for others during the lockdown. We’d like to know about them! Send us an email and let us know about the everyday heroes in your community who are doing great things during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Was this article helpful?



You may also like...