Once again, President Ramaphosa has acted decisively in leading us in the fight against the global pandemic ravaging our societies.
The single best thing we could do is stay at home where at all possible to help slow the infection rate. This gives the health care system a valuable buffer to deal with the infected AND it stops the virus spreading in its tracks.
It is a lot of pain upfront to ensure a speedier and quicker recovery. President Ramaphosa has also placed the health and safety of our people first, before considerations of money and cost to society.
This is in stark contrast to the approach of leaders in the West who are dithering in their response afraid of upsetting the wealthy and privileged in their countries because of the economic damage this will create in the short term.
All South Africans can be grateful for that. We need to come together now to support each other and navigate our way through this crisis to the other side.
We do not know what that looks like right now, we don’t know how and when things become “normal” and we know that even with these decisive actions, many of us will still lose loved ones and have lives disrupted.
We are encouraged that the President and organs of State are being thoughtful on how to support disrupted businesses and workers to ensure some continuity and to bring relief to those most affected by this crisis. We look forward to hearing in the coming days, as the President promised, how and what form this support will take.
For now it is important to focus on a couple of issues.
One, the President called for all businesses that can continue to operate in a “work from home” situation to please do so. We will be honouring that call. Our clients are depending on us.
Two, all units of immedia fall under either essential services (ICT – datacentres, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae) or enabling services (communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online) and are required to remain operational.
We will be heeding the President’s call and doing our duty. In this fight, our broadcast clients are at the front line of the effort in promoting trusted information, building morale and sustaining communities through this challenging time.
You have already seen our update on how the Fabrik platform is being stressed as our clients fulfil their mission in servicing their audiences.
The work they are doing, and by extension the work we are doing to support them, to enable them with platforms like Fabrik are saving lives.
These are the times we live in. We can contribute and we will.
We have been preparing and in many ways have made choices ahead of any formal requests from government in managing this crisis. Many of us are already working from home.
For those who should not come into the office and cannot work from home due to your Service not able to be performed, e.g. our cleaning and facilities staff, we ask you to stay well, spend time with your family and find ways in your environment to contribute to this national effort.
For these staff we will not be regarding this lock-down as annual leave or a no-work, no-pay situation. Everybody will be paid as normal.
When this lock-down is over, we will be guided by updates from the President and the government’s support and relief mechanisms to inform our choices as we go forward. This is all we can do for now, knowing that all over the world, we are in this together. I believe strongly the world will be better after this for the lessons we learn on bonding to our common humanity.
The President has also asked for all South Africans to contribute to a solidarity fund and immedia will be heeding that call.
Everyone knows the economic and business constraints we are under but I believe it is important that every citizen support the national effort to support the most vulnerable of us during this crisis.
immedia will contribute R10 000 to the Solidarity Fund. If any team member wishes to donate to the fund, no matter how small, immedia will match their contribution up to a maximum of R1 000.
Simply let us know in confidence of the amount you wish to donate and we will deduct it from your April pay check and include it in our payment to the fund. We will do that on the 1st of April so you have a week or so to think about it should you wish to do so. We will announce the sum total of our donation for awareness but not who did or did not donate. We are keenly aware that we are all in different circumstances and different obligations. This is not meant to pressure anyone in any way so do not feel obligated.
We are in this together.
And even though we may be working from home, find ways to keep your team-mates morale up and help each other cope through this stressful time.
Stay safe and stay well everyone. Keep focused and disciplined on our work as best as we can deliver it and know that we are all fighting as hard as we can to mitigate the impact on our lives, health, community and livelihoods. Do not be afraid. If you need help coping, please ask for it. If you need to talk things through with someone, please reach out to someone you trust.