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Walkers called on to aid South Africa through COVID-19 crisis

International ‘Solidarity Walk’ this weekend

OW Staff Writer | 8/27/2020, midnight

An international ‘Solidarity Walk’ has been launched to aid South Africa economically as it faces the Covid-19 crisis. Organizers from the South African Chamber of Commerce in London are hoping to attract support from the diaspora, including expatriate South Africans living in UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

This fundraising initiative was launched on July 18, former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Supporters can register and make donations at https://southafricanchamber.co.uk/event/eventsindex.php to complete their chosen mileage on foot in any way they choose—walking, running, hiking, pushing a pram, walking the dog—from Aug. 29 to 31.

Walkers can also choose where they wish to exercise—close to home, a park, their garden, one of the suggested routes—wherever it is easy to access and safe. The event will support the Solidarity Fund in strengthening critical prevention, detection, care and support activities for those impacted by the pandemic in South Africa.

“To all those expatriate South Africans who have never lost touch with the land of their birth and love South Africa, my message is: The country needs you now as never before, and with this corruption-free, ring-fenced project, your money will help to carry South Africa through the worst of the Covid-19 crisis,” chamber Chair Sharon Constancon said. “South Africa needs you.”

The most popular destinations for South African émigrés are: Australia 26%, United Kingdom 25%, United States 13.4%, New Zealand 9.5%, Germany 6%, Samoa 4.4%, United Arab Emirates 4.2%, Cuba 4%, Canada 3% and China 2%.

Lucas Radebe, Leeds United FC and Bafana Bafana Football Legend, said, “The SA Chamber’s Solidarity Walk is a great way to show support for the Solidarity Fund. I will be walking in solidarity with the South African diaspora and friends of our nation who want to recognize the work of those helping the country overcome the pandemic.”

Andre Snyman, the veteran Springbok player said, “Supporting initiatives that contribute to the Solidarity Fund has never been so important. We all have a role to play, the pandemic has left so many families destitute with little or no source of income, making the role of initiatives such as the Solidarity Walk even more crucial.”

Music legend PJ Powers aka Thandeka, endorsed the efforts by the SA Chamber to support the Solidarity Fund. “We as South Africans will overcome what we are going through right now. We need to celebrate our diversity and we need to form a strong bond for solidarity – that is so sorely needed in South Africa at the moment. We shall overcome!”

“Queen of Rock”, talk show host and The Voice judge Karen Zoid added, “I am proud and happy to be part of this campaign to raise funds for those most in need of food, health and wellbeing. Just in the music and entertainment industry alone the immediate impact and loss of income has been huge. The only way to get through this, is together.”

The Solidarity Walk is a virtual challenge for people to join and collectively cover 2414 miles / 3885 km. This is the furthest distance across the country, clocking kilometres from Cape Town to Beitbridge and back again! The total distance will be displayed on the SA Chamber website along with a moving map to show current progress in miles. Another counter will show the total funds raised with all donations going directly to the Solidarity Fund. For more information, visit www.southafricanchamber.co.uk.