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bpSA continues to support covid-19 response efforts

Last edited:
18 June 2020
From supporting charities, to donations of medical equipment and working on the frontline, bp colleagues globally have been protecting people and caring for communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally, bpSA is also rallying around COVID-19 response efforts, most recently supporting a relief initiative that will enable the country to provide much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies as the fight against the pandemic intensifies.


Through a partnership with the Solidarity Fund, bpSA donated about 300,000 litres of jet fuel valued at US$ 50k for a cargo flight that collected PPE and medical supplies from China. The South African Airways cargo plane was refuelled by the air bp team at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg before its departure. The Solidarity Fund took delivery of the consignment of PPE last week as part of its health and humanitarian intervention to provide PPE for frontline health workers.

We are pleased to have been able to provide meaningful and critical support towards the country’s fight against the pandemic – by helping optimize the supply of medicalsupplies and PPE.

Access to medical equipment and PPE will not only expand testing capacity of laboratories and hospitals but will also boost the community testing and screening programme. Most importantly, it will keep the frontline healthcare workers SAFE and not expose them to potential infection in the battle to combat COVID-19.

Additionally, bpSA is supporting the fight against the pandemic through the following:

  • Partnering with Gift of the Givers to set up a mobile testing units and to procure testing kits for health officials conducting the testing in Port Elizabeth, which isthe epicentre of COVID-19 in the Eastern Cape (EC). Gift of the Givers is working closely with the City of Nelson Mandela Bay and the EC government health officials. Each facility has capacity to run~60 COVID-19 tests a day, depending on the need.
  • Continuing to provide complimentary coffee to COVID-19 uniformed frontline personnel including armed forces, SAPS and Emergency Medical Services throughout the lockdown period.  

Employees do their bit

bp and Castrol employees have also stepped up to make an impact during this challenging time, by initiating the #MakeYourMask campaign specifically for the Africancontinent to help curb the spread of the virus. The campaign is a voluntary community initiative taken on by bp and Castrol employees who recognize that in some parts of the continent it is impossible to keep social distance.

The campaign aims to encourage people across Africa to make their own face masks from ordinary household fabric such as old clothing or bedsheets that can be found athome. This follows a recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that face masks should beworn as another means of preventing the spread of the virus. In South Africa, the campaign is supported by the National Department of Health as it amplifiesgovernment awareness campaign of using face masks. This will be alongside frequent handwashing and social distancing.


bp’s Chief Medical Officer, Richard Heron said, “During this global humanitarian crisis, bp wants to play a part in the fight against coronavirus, particularly in the regions where we operate.” 


Locally, we encourage you to join South Africa’s rugby icons, Francois Pienaar and John Smit in the 30 seconds challenge to make your own mask. There are various materials you can use for this from an old favourite t-shirt to a bandana. Just because you have to wear a mask doesn’t mean that you have to lose your personality, so feel free to go crazy with it.

How to participate in the #MakeyourMask 30 challenge

  • Make your mask then take a selfie wearing the mask.
  • Post the selfie and your time to social media with the hashtag #MakeYourMask,then get three friends to take the challenge.

Further inquiries


bp Press Office, South Africa +2787 357 9374, nelisiwe.masina@bp.com