Possibly South Africa’s most famous saying – “Boer maak ‘n plan” – is being put into practice in many ways under crisis-driven necessity.
Perhaps, the time under strict lockdown also gave the ‘grey cells’ time to regenerate and expand their own horizons and Volkswagen’s refreshing ‘Drive Local’ campaign is an example.
“The Drive Local campaign is our way to help South Africans get back on their feet and on the road – whether economically or through Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives. We support the buying of locally manufactured goods, local businesses as well as initiatives that help our communities,” says Mike Glendinning, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) Sales and Marketing Director.
“Our proudly South African Polo and Polo Vivo, which are the only locally-manufactured compact hatch models in their segments, have enjoyed exceptional sales performance in the local market and we want to express our gratitude through the Drive Local campaign.”
The Drive Local concept was brought to life in a television commercial. The story is set in a small town in a post-lockdown South Africa; cars are rolling off the assembly line and the country is slowly coming alive. The vehicles seen arriving in a forgotten little town are a physical manifestation of the goodwill and optimism rippling across South Africa. Everyone is adjusting to a world where social distancing is the ‘new normal’, but the advert depicts a story of South African resilience and support for one another.
Volkswagen is heeding the call to ‘Drive Local’ by investing in CSI initiatives aimed at alleviating the impact of the pandemic. VWSA converted an unused PE Plant Facility in the Eastern Cape into a temporary field hospital.
The first phase of the Rev Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field Hospital, which included the handover of 1 485 beds for Covid-19 patients including those who require oxygenation, was handed over to the Eastern Cape Department of Health last month. Once the second and third phases are complete, the facility will accommodate more than 3 300 beds for patients.
Through the Volkswagen Community Trust, VWSA handed over a total of R340 000 to Non-Profit Organisations in Nelson Mandela Bay as well as more than 50 000 meals to primary schools in the area. In addition, the schools also received 5 000 protective face masks.
The masks were sewn by a local women co-operative, Gusco, which is also making 10 000 children masks for the greater Uitenhage community.
In an effort to support female entrepreneurs that have been hard hit by the pandemic, Volkswagen also launched the Volkswagen Lionesses Den competition at the beginning of July. The ‘Lionesses Den’ competition is a call to female-owned businesses in South Africa to share a two-minute business pitch. The top three pitches will win capital to invest in their businesses and in turn help drive the South African economy forward. The competition, which is open until August 2, 2020, will see three female entrepreneurs winning a total cash injection of R175 000 for their businesses.
“As a company that has been operating in South Africa for almost 70 years, we are deeply invested in the local economy and we are committed to seeing the citizens of South Africa thrive in order to secure our future together,” concluded Glendinning.
Watch the Drive Local television commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw5I4BhsdY0