Supplier Development Initiatives (SDI), founded by Brad Fisher and Andile Ramaphosa, established SDI Force, a non-profit initiative focused on assisting small businesses and micro-traders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

SDI Force has spearheaded a number of social initiatives. One of these, Adopt-a-Safe-Passage to Work/School, equips our taxi industry with equipment, methods and measures to make their vehicles Covid-compliant and safer for drivers and passengers.

Adopt-a-Safe-Passage was conceptualised by SDI, and privately funded by FNB and Bridge Taxi Finance.

This funding has been placed in an independent trust, vetted by FNB.

FNB and Bridge Taxi Finance have both made statements about the funding they gave to this project.

No government funding has been received for either SDI Force or the Adopt-a-Safe-Passage initiative, and no government tender of any sort was awarded, nor was one pursued or desired.

 

SDI appointed a team of diverse experts to develop the best interventions to decrease the spread of Covid-19 in taxis.

These risk mitigation interventions include a driver-separation capsule, sanitisation dispensers and, most critically, the installation of four air vents to aid airflow in the vehicles. By implementing the correct mix of interventions in taxis, there is the potential to dramatically reduce the rate of new infections. Additional research is required to best understand the impact of these and other potentially lifesaving interventions.

International data highlights that SARS-COV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) is airborne, and onward transmission is driven by close contact in poorly ventilated spaces. No intervention is 100% efficacious in preventing transmission, but it is important to develop sustainable and impactful interventions that can be packaged together, and that are contextually relevant.

SDI launched a campaign across various media and public platforms, requesting support from both the general public and corporate institutions. This campaign asked all South Africans to rally together as a nation, contribute and help mitigate the real threat of viral spread in taxis

SDI and its partners would like to state that the misreporting in certain instances surrounding this project is having an adverse effect on its rollout, and that countless lives could be lost if it is any way halted or hampered. The more time that is lost, the more lives will be lost.

This life-saving initiative was voluntarily implemented because no other institutions – governmental or corporate – were addressing this issue of national importance. The taxi industry keeps South Africa’s economy going by transporting approximately 14 million people daily. Protecting these commuters and preventing unnecessary deaths is imperative, and Adopt-a-Safe-Passage has become a blueprint for how private initiatives can make a huge difference to the safety and wellbeing of our citizens.

For more information please contact Laura Kaufman on Laura@sdi.co.za