Johannesburg – Pupils and teachers of Eduplex Primary School in Queenswood, Pretoria, were delighted after the Chinese company Harvest Group donated about 5 000 quality masks to the school on Monday.
The donation to the private Christian school forms part of a campaign the company is running at various schools to assist with combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Principal Jannie de Goede told The Star the school was thrilled to be able to hand the masks over to the learners. “They are high quality and specially made. They are also in different colours … each child will receive (a) package with five masks in different colours,” he said.
Harvest Group supplies products for agricultural packaging material and non-woven cloth for medical use, and has five companies and four local factories.
The group said that at the beginning of 2020 when the coronavirus erupted in China, the company changed its non-woven manufacturing line from agricultural use to medical use. “We exported to China to help the Chinese mask industry and helped the people to fight the virus. As soon as South Africa got the virus, we changed to support local mask and gown manufacture.”
Chief executive Shenton Sun said the PPE market had too many poor-quality imported masks, which did not provide enough protection from the coronavirus. He added that consumers’ lack of awareness of the poor quality of masks left them exposed and placed them at risk of being infected by the virus.
“We use our machinery in our factories to guarantee that all of the masks (are of) good quality. This is how we can deliver quality masks to the schools,” Sun said. “Children are the future of our country; we must protect them by using quality masks.”
He said that a portion of the profit the company made went towards making donations to South African schools.
Sun said the group formed a part of the South African economy and communities, and that supporting communities was very important for the Harvest Group during these trying times. “Our workforce and the communities they live in (are) our most important resource and their protection is of the utmost importance to us. We at Harvest Group view our staff, clients, their families and the communities that are part of our supply chain as stakeholders in the existence of our companies.
“Therefore, we at Harvest Group take pride in assisting these stakeholders in the protection against this threat we are facing.”