Isuzu Motors South Africa has made its media fleet available to Gift of the Givers while Jaguar Land Rover South Africa has sent 11 vehicles to the South African Red Cross Society to use in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese firm says its efforts support the non-governmental organisation's plan to “augment public health services”. The disaster relief group has set up a coronavirus testing facility in Johannesburg and plans to extend this service to Durban, while also supporting medical professionals with protective wear and supplying essential medical equipment.

Denise van Huyssteen, Isuzu Motors SA’s corporate affairs, business strategy and legal executive, said the media would not be able to evaluate its vehicles during the nationwide lockdown period anyway.

“Instead of the bakkies parked during this time, they could be utilised to help curb the spread of the COVID-19,” Van Huyssteen said.

Gift of the Givers medical personnel will use the D-Max bakkies during the lockdown period.

“We are grateful for the transport support. Isuzu has always been a trusted and proactive partner of Gift of the Givers. Through their support we are able to reach many more vulnerable communities across South Africa,” said Badr Kazi, Gift of the Givers director and national co-ordinator.

“Isuzu has partnered with Gift in the Givers during various crises and we know Isuzu is a partner for the long run,” Kazi added.

Jaguar Land Rover South Africa, meanwhile, has pulled 11 vehicles from its marketing fleet, allowing Red Cross volunteers to be deployed to “critical areas”.

According to the British firm’s local arm, the vehicles will also help the Red Cross in its “crucial role of contact tracing”. In addition to these activities, the Red Cross will provide support to affected families, distribute food parcels, buy groceries and feed homeless people.