French companies support small black-owned business during Covid-19
On Tuesday, 08 September 2020, Foreign Trade Advisors of France in South Africa (CCEs) and the Embassy of France handed over personal protection equipment and sanitizers to the Gauteng Provincial Department in support of small black businesses.
The Conseillers du Commerce extérieur de la France (CCE) is the official association of French companies, bringing together 35 CEOs of large French groups present in South Africa, such as Air Liquide, Alstom, BNP, Bolloré, L’Oreal, Peugeot, Saint-Gobain and Total. These entities employ 15,000 South Africans and generate a turnover of 105 billion rand per year.
To respond to the Covid-19 crisis, the CCEs are providing support to small black South African businesses located in Gauteng and in particular in the informal settlements.
Together with Ambassador of France to South Africa, Mr. Aurélien Lechevallier, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Fikile Majola and Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Morakane Mosupyoe, they handed over the material to beneficiaries in Nellmapius.
The full donation consists of 3,000 washable fabric masks with interchangeable filters produced in SA by an association and 2,000 bottles of sanitizers produced by L’Oreal in Midrand. This will ensure safe working practices for about 1,500 workers from small SMEs in this community.
“We feel encouraged when it comes to our work with Gauteng and its leadership. There is support for companies to do business in the province and to invest, in order to create more jobs for South Africans, with French and European skills. We still have to act responsibly during this crisis, but soon we hope to continue and create even more opportunities for these communities,” said Ambassador Lechevallier.
President CCE and CEO Saint-Gobain Africa, Mr Jean-Claude Lasserre said “French Business’ have been active for years in SA. Last year 10 of our companies pledged to invest R20 Billion in SA over the next 5 years. This demonstrates our long term commitment, particularly in Gauteng, where most of our African Headquarters are located. This PPE donation to Black Business SME’s in Nellmapius is part of our social responsibility to support Gauteng economic recovery by allowing 1500 employees of SME’s to work in full safety.”