Along with the rest of the economy, the petroleum industry has taken a serious knock from the Covid-19 crisis, but major fuel supplier, Astron Energy has still pumped well over R1m into coronavirus relief efforts in Gauteng alone.

Astron Energy, hold the licence rights for the Caltex brand in South Africa and Botswana, funded R700,000 in PCR testing kits in Gauteng through Gift of the Givers. And it has worked with Food Forward SA, Rise Against Hunger and Country Duty to provide more than 150,000 meals and R250,000 in food vouchers in the province.

A special focus, in conjunction with the National Business Initiative (NBI), has been on the installation of community handwashing stations for vulnerable communities’ close to Caltex operations in Thokoza, Daveyton and Katlehong, and the supply of individual hand-washing units for use in homes without running water. NBI Water Lead, Alex McNamara, says the stations are much-needed as “we know that handwashing is the first line of defence against the Covid-19 virus and provides lasting health benefits for people of all ages.”

Jonathan Molapo, CEO of Astron Energy, says the company and its Caltex retail partners have been heavily involved in alleviating the crisis in Gauteng and across the country since the lockdown began; “We have followed WHO guidelines to establish the most effective interventions and worked with outstanding on-the-ground NGOs as our delivery mechanisms.”

Astron Energy’s Social Investment Advisor Winny Dubazane says the company is continuing to explore new ways of supporting Gauteng communities; “The devastating economic impact of the pandemic will be with us for a while and we are in this for the long haul.”