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Maskathon sees over R72 000 in donations and over 217 000 masks pledged to date

Thursday, 30 July 2020  
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South Africans responded generously to a recent Masks for Madiba call, an initiative to mark Mandela Day that called on companies and individuals to contribute fabric masks for those who need.


The Masks for Madiba drive formed part of the Maskathon Challenge, a national initiative of the Western Cape GovernmentCity of Cape and the CDI.

The CDI is part of two key COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) related initiatives in the Western Cape – one a platform that provides a single place for suppliers to promote their product ranges and for businesses to find what they need; and the other is the “Maskathon” which aims to get donations of over one million masks for those in underprivileged communities.

The Maskathon donation drive helps deliver much needed masks to underprivileged communities while also boosting the economy by stimulating local manufacturing across large and small-scale producers.


To date, over 217 000 masks have been pledged in total, and the CDI has received over R72 000 in donations for the production of masks from generous South Africans supporting the cause.

Last month we reported on how South African craft and design SMMEs have risen to the challenge of producing locally made masks to help protect the public, and these Maskathon donations are helping to support CDI members who are using the funds to make masks for those in need. The Maskathon is therefore directly benefitting craft and design SMMEs through providing a source of income.


Here’s what some of the CDI members had to say:


I would like to thank you (CDI). Our company is based in Mfuleni and some of our operations are in Khayelitsha; and at the moment since it is lockdown and there are no market events, we are making masks for a living. The order has really helped us lot and we are hoping to get more opportunities. – Phindiwe Pheleu of Moona Productions


It is a great pleasure to be selected from your database to take part in this mask making programme. This pandemic has had a negative effect on my business because we specialise in uniforms. But I thank CDI because since I got the mask order things are different now; I am able to support my family. A big thank to you for bringing back hope to me and my family.  Nolitha Komsana, Rise and Shine


Image above: A selection of masks made by Nolitha Komsana


We have been producing and selling masks since May this year. It’s been a challenge to pivot from designing and producing bespoke evening dresses to trying to make an income from selling masks during this time. The masks that we developed has a built in third layer to make it light weight and super breathable. It keeps the wearer dry and is easy to care for. Hand or machine washable, the colour doesn’t run. The design is simple yet practical. Our customers says that they like it because they can breathe while wearing it. While most of our new customers comes from word of mouth, however we are very grateful for the opportunity to provide larger orders. Thank you so much for this opportunity. – Genevieve Donson


My first batch of masks was for my family and I gave some to my wife to show her colleagues at work – I immediately received orders and I began working. To my surprise I also received orders from two local schools, and I began making more and more new orders every week. When I got an email from the CDI stating that they were looking for small businesses that are making fabric masks and that we needed to apply, I immediately applied. Making these masks has helped a lot in my family, and I cannot wait to get started with the masks for CDI. – Themba Lize, Themba Lize Holdings


Image above: mask made by Themba Lize


Image above: Baby Tshimbuka Muanda of Afrivintage, is another CDI member making masks for the project


Of the Masks for Madiba drive, Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said that:

“Mandela Day is usually a day on which people around the country and around the world roll up their sleeves and help out in their communities for 67 minutes. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, it might not be possible to physically be present to help out, but the need in our communities for support, kindness and assistance has never been greater. Mandela Day should not just be about getting involved for 67 minutes on one day a year – but it should act as a reminder that we should all be actively seeking ways to help our fellow humans every day. South Africa is faced with many complex challenges right now that need us all to work together, if we are to be successful at solving them,” he said.


“The lockdown has created an urgent need in many of our communities, and the number of individuals, businesses, NGOs and community organisations that have come together to respond to this need has been phenomenal.”


You are invited to donate masksbuy local or make a financial contribution. All masks will be distributed to vulnerable communities in identified COVID-19 hotspots.


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