Heineken lends a hand

The beer brand is assisting staff and supporting frontline healthcare heroes and communities impacted by Covid-19

Heineken South Africa strongly believes in expressing its global ethos of "Brewing a Better World" this in its actions. Through two recent significant donations, the brewer is fulfilling two key Heineken pillars - promoting health and safety, and growing with and supporting communities in the areas in which the business operates. As a responsible business, Heineken South Africa strives to assist those most impacted by the pandemic and the healthcare workers keeping us protected from its spread and effect.

Earlier in the year, Heineken South Africa heeded the call from the South African government for support by donating personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth R1-million to help our healthcare heroes and the workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.

The local brewer handed over PPEs to the provincial department of health, which will be utilised by nurses and doctors in the Covid-19 wards of Gauteng public hospitals, providing them with protection while they work to curb the spread of the disease across the province. Besides the protective equipment, which included masks and medical-grade disinfectant, Heineken also provided supplies and refreshments for hospital kitchens including tea, coffee, rusks and energy bars to sustain the hospital staff on duty.

Along with support for those working during this time, Heineken also provided help to those who cannot work during the pandemic. Heineken handed over care and food hampers across various regions valued at more than R100 000. These hampers included 111 hampers to the Midvaal local municipality as well as two Gauteng-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely Lethabo Feeding Scheme based in Orlando East, and Reabetswe Community Care Service based in Alexandra. An orphanage in Roodepoort, Dorah’s Ark, also benefitted from these care packages. These packs contain essential food rations and hygiene products and are being distributed to the most vulnerable people across Gauteng.

Globally, Heineken has donated €15-million to support the Red Cross and relief efforts for the most vulnerable people affected by Covid-19, in particular in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Heineken South Africa strives to assist those most impacted by the pandemic and the healthcare workers keeping us protected from its spread and effect.

Extending care to the larger Heineken family 

Heineken South Africa has now also extended Covid-19-related support to the families of more than 950 staff members as Covid-19 infections peak in the country.  

The brewer is providing family care packs that include face masks, sanitisers and educational material in an effort to help its employees and their families better protect themselves during the pandemic. Employees can choose to have the family care pack delivered to their door (to limit movement) or collect it at work in a safe and contactless manner. 

Like many companies, and as is the trend in the country, Heineken SA expects to see an increase in Covid-19 infections within its employee population and has taken measures to slow down the spread of the virus as far as possible. This includes expanding its work from home policy to more employees, providing personal protective equipment (each staff member has received four face masks, with those working in the field receiving sanitiser), and ensuring that all safety protocols are observed in the workplace, including sanitising the work space at least three times daily and effecting social distancing.

The company has also been using in-house channels to provide education on Covid-19-related topics led by its company doctor and experts. Among other, these videos focus on how to keep your home Covid-19 safe, what to do when you test positive, how to manage your symptoms during a recovery period, and how to care for a loved one who tested positive.

The beer & cider manufacturer has also prioritised mental wellbeing during this time, recognising that employees are faced with a number of challenges such as juggling work and domestic responsibilities, coping with reduced income and the threat to their physical health. Employees have access to online mental health services, including counselling.

Yvonne Mosadi, human resources director at Heineken South Africa, explains the need for this extended support: “Throughout this pandemic, the health and safety of our people has remained our top priority. One of our organisational behaviour values is ‘safety first, safety always’, and it is central in everything we do. We have responded to the crisis by ensuring that our colleagues are regularly informed about the latest coronavirus developments and safety measures, while complying with and implementing preventative measures in the work environment. We realise that our employees are not the only ones that could benefit from our support, but that we could augment our interventions and extended assistance to their families too. In this way, we can strengthen our efforts to decelerate the spread of the virus.”