The Oceana Group, Africa’s largest fishing company, has heeded the call to support all efforts at combating Covid-19 and its impact on people and communities.

Oceana has donated R600,000 to the Gift of the Givers who are working with government to augment public health services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This funding will be used in conjunction with other donated funds to acquire essential medical supplies and equipment, as well as medical facilities for the testing and treating of Covid-19 patients.

The equipment includes surgical masks, latex gloves, head covers and coveralls, 1,500 hazmat suits, mobile testing stations, ventilators, as well as sanitiser and disinfectants.

The funds will also be used to help support hospitals such as Chris Hani Baragwanath, Raheema Moosa, Helen Joseph and Northdale, and at immigration points at OR Tambo International, as well as for SAPS and Metro Police members.

Oceana CEO Imraan Soomra said the company, which produces the iconic Lucky Star brand of pilchards, had also made food parcels, which includes over 30,000 cans of Lucky Star pilchards, available for Gift of the Givers to collect from its various provincial distribution sites to be distributed in communities most in need across South Africa during this time.

In addition, Oceana will also be making available over 146,000 litres of water every day from the company’s desalination plant at Amawandle Pelagic in Laaiplek on the West Coast and also from its cold storage facility, CCS Logistics, in Epping and Hout Bay site, to government to assist communities that do not have clean water for essential hygiene and sanitation purposes.

Through the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA), Oceana has been able to make a donation of over R500,000 to provide a meal to at least 20,000 families for a period of two weeks. And through Rise Against Hunger (RAH), an organisation that Oceana has worked with for over a decade, 51,000 meals have been distributed to children in vulnerable communities.

Furthermore, Oceana will be working with the PSFA to distribute food parcels to all Oceana staff who have been working during the lockdown due to the fact that as a food producing company it is regarded as an essential service. This gesture has ensured that the families of the group’s employees continue to have food during this period whilst they serve our country.

“Charity begins at home and our staff are also our priority during this period,” said Soomra.

The company is looking at extending these relief measures to its other regions of operation, including Namibia and the United States.

“We are committed to positively impacting lives during this unprecedented time, not just for our own employees, but for our communities at large,” said Soomra.