Novus Holdings Ltd., together with Lebone Litho Printers (Pty) Ltd. and DSV Solutions (Pty) Ltd., is donating 35 000 masks, 60 thermometers, and 300 litres of hand sanitising materials to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as a contribution towards reducing the spread of COVID-19 at schools across the country. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided by the DBE to learners and educators, who are in the process of returning to school in phases as schools reopen in line with government regulations.

The three companies who are donating the PPE material, form part of a joint-venture (JV) consortium responsible for the printing and delivery of millions of workbooks to more than 23 000 public schools across the country.

Neil Birch, CEO at Novus Holdings, commenting on why the company decided to help, said that the JV partners support government’s aim of keeping learners and educators safe during the pandemic as a top priority.

“We recognise that there are many learners and educators who may be anxious to return to school. The right PPE can help keep children in school so that there are no further learning losses experienced as a result of COVID-19,” said Birch.

Keith Michael, CEO at Lebone Litho Printers, said that the he hoped the PPE would make a huge difference in helping the country’s frontline educators stay safe.

“We are honoured to be able to play a part in alleviating the impact of the pandemic on those who have the responsibility of educating our future leaders,” said Michael.  

The masks were produced by local manufacturers and are triple-layered for added protection.  One of the manufacturers was primarily an underwear manufacturer and has now shifted their business and focus due to the COVID-19 pandemic to supply PPE and to also ensure their business sustainability.

The consortium is full steam ahead in its drive to deliver just over 60-million workbooks to more than 9-million pupils during 2021. In the past 3 years, the consortium has achieved tremendous success, delivering between 58 and 60 million books on time each year. This year the 60 108 295 books will be made up of 344 different titles, and delivered to 23 298 schools. The workbooks are for pupils in Grade R to 9, and cover literacy, numeracy and life skills in all eleven official languages.

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