The French government has donated R1.8-million worth of medical material and personal protective equipment (PPE) to South Africa, which will be distributed to hospitals in the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The donation comes at the request of the South African government as part of efforts to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Ambassador of France to South Africa Aurélien Lechevallier said the Covid-19 fight was not over, despite encouraging progress from South Africa and France in combatting the spread of the virus.
“We need to continue our joint efforts against the virus and its social and economic impacts. We need to continue to support the medical facilities and all those fighting on the frontlines,” he said.
Department of Health director-general Dr Sandile Buthelezi received the donation on behalf of the country and thanked the people of France.
“When this crisis is history, I do believe we will be remembered as a humanity that chose cooperation over conflict, compassion over prejudice and solidarity over division,” said Buthelezi.
The donation is part of the #TeamEurope response by European Union countries to provide support to South Africa during the pandemic.
The donation arrived in South Africa owing to the ongoing cooperation with Air France-KLM.
“Air France-KLM South Africa has worked hard to keep the link between France and South Africa alive, repatriating the ones in need and bringing much needed goods from the world to South Africa. We are very proud and honoured that we could play a role in the transport of this generous gift by the French government to the South African people,” said Air France-KLM South Africa GM Wouter Vermeulen.