Business group Sakeliga is giving R50 000 to kickstart the campaign by South African-based anti-lockdown group Pandemic Data and Analytics (PANDA) to end lockdowns world-wide.
The donation is part of a crowd-fund hosted by Business for Ending Lockdown, a group of local business organisations representing more than 50 000 businesses and thousands of supporters.
Piet le Roux, Sakeliga CEO, says the world is facing a devastating new wave of lockdowns and restrictions and South Africa risks being swept up in it. “On its own, the international relapse into lockdowns would be harmful enough, but just this week Minister Zweli Mkhize also mooted new restrictions in South Africa. PANDA is fast becoming the world’s leading organisation to counter this and they need our help.”
“With everything going on in this country, our single greatest risk to life-expectancy and quality of life is not Covid-19. After all, barely a twentieth of the projected possible deaths used to justify lockdown in March materialised, yet international travel and several other industries are still effectively shut down. Our greatest risk now is deep economic decline and fiscal and monetary implosion, followed by hunger, poverty and generally undertreated infectious diseases, followed by waves of political and social instability.”
“PANDA started in Cape Town as an interdisciplinary team of local actuaries, economists, medical experts, and other volunteers. Since April, they have been accurately calling the much lower than initially projected expected mortality from Covid-19, pointing out lockdown’s harms to life-expectancy and well-being. In October, their team expanded to include the world’s top epidemiologists and other experts, including from universities at Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford. This makes them the world’s most authoritative and encompassing anti-lockdown group, founded right here in South Africa.”
“PANDA needs our help to exert influence on a global scale. We need an international co-ordinator – a leading light – against lockdowns, so to be more effective locally and prevent repeat episodes. This mantle falls to PANDA and to us to support them.”
Funds raised will be used by PANDA to cover initial operational, research, logistical, and communications expenditure. “It will not come close to the funds needed for what needs to be done, but it will give them the foothold they need to turn the tide against lockdowns on an international level and in South Africa,” says Le Roux.
We encourage all businesses and businesspeople to help crowdfund PANDA. To support the crowd-fund, visit www.endlockdown.co.za.
For a media statement and background information on the crowd-fund, click here.