Dear Mopalami

Welcome to our first electronic edition of Mopalami.

We usually put this together at the office and not from our homes. However, the effects of the Corona pandemic have challenged and changed the manner in which we conduct business. Covid-19 has redefined what we knew as “normal life”.

Following the implementation of the lockdown and promotion of social distancing, normal life as we know it has changed. A fully loaded bus with passengers singing, a bustling Central Park, passengers rushing from one bus to another, students rushing off to catch their busses, morning ques at the Langenhoven Park loading bay, Regulators directing passengers and drivers, hustling passengers selling packets of chips, security personnel and teachers, Central Park morning churches, all now reduced to a distant memory.

The impact of the social distancing has been a challenge to all, packed churches, wedding ceremonies, funerals and many other social activities are also a thing of the past for now.

The most devastating effect of all of these changes has to be the impact on the most vulnerable, the low income groups including job seekers. Many of our passengers fall in this group and without any means of travel they cannot earn a living and to put a meal on the table is even more difficult.

This lockdown has also been hard on many street hawkers that rely on bus passengers to buy fruit, vegetables and other necessities. All sectors of the economy, big and small business are also adversely affected due to the reduced number of passengers, shoppers and travellers.

We have also read reports of companies that have announced that they will no longer operate after the lockdown. The knock-on effect will be dire for the already-struggling economy, and sadly our company will not be spared from the negative impact thereof.

Unpleasant as these measures have been, we must commend our government to have taken such a bold step to introduce these measures to save lives and give us a fighting chance to manage and eliminate the pandemic.

Our country could be in a far worse a situation had it not been of the speedy action that our government has taken. Our government quickly introduced regulations to manage the lockdown and also to limit the total collapse of the economy.

We have seen big global economic markets and commodities take a tumble, all as a result of the impact of this virus. The world at large is at war fighting this invisible enemy and as South Africans we have displayed our ability to adapt.

We are also encouraged by reports of people that have recovered from the virus. Business, social, political, religious leadership, communities and homes we are all called upon to defend humanity and protect those we love by staying at home and limiting any unessential travel and movement, by covering up when we cough and promoting basic hygiene.

I hope you will join us in paying tribute to the frontline personnel of all essential services, that on a daily basis put their lives on the line to ensure that whilst the majority of our people are at home, life is not severely disrupted.

Medical, Security, public transport, retail, fuel, energy generation, farming personnel and other sectors providing essential services, we thank you for your sacrifice. We borrow our word of encouragement to all of you during this trying time from the Bible verse of Joshua 1:9 , “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.

In as much as we totally believe that this too shall pass and we shall overcome, we also acknowledge that life after the pandemic will never be the same again for all across the entire world.

We reiterate our total support to the drastic steps our government has taken to save lives of South Africans and further emphasise our commitment to encouraging all stakeholders to continue; KEEPING SOCIAL DISTANCE, WASHING AND SANITISING HANDS AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY STAYING AT HOME DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD. #STAYHOMESTAYSAFE.

George Mokgothu
Chief Executive Officer