Support the Ubuntu Cloth Mask initiative | Western Cape Government



Support the Ubuntu Cloth Mask initiative

20 May 2020

Identified communities will soon receive free non-medical masks through the Ubuntu Cloth Mask initiative, launched by the Western Cape Minister of Health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo in Goodwood on 19 May 2020.

This public-private initiative is coordinated by WoW! (Western Cape on Wellness), in partnership with The Health Foundation, Coconut Jazz and other organisations. The purpose of the initiative is to provide free quality masks to children and adults in vulnerable communities in the Western Cape. The campaign aligns to the #ShareTheLove campaign which seeks to highlight the work being done by people living in the province to help each other through the Covid-19 crisis.

The Western Cape Government (WCG) supports and promotes the use of cloth masks (non-medical) at community level as further evidence-based measures towards stopping the spread of Covid-19 infection. Since the release of the WCG Cloth Face Mask guidelines, multiple sectors have started to manufacture and distribute cloth masks. Compliance of cloth masks with recommended specifications is of growing concern as there is no overarching quality control mechanism to ensure personal and public safety.

Minister Mbombo says she is excited to launch initiative that aims to provide free quality cloth masks to children and adults in vulnerable communities. “This supports what we have been calling for, adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing of masks in public because this virus spreads through droplets, wearing of masks in public is one of the interventions we can use in preventing the spread.”

Minister Mbombo adds that she is happy to be part of this initiative which will ensure that the most vulnerable community is covered in this pandemic. “Also, to remind people that it is our behaviour that will determine whether we win or lose this battle. Simple things such as wearing a mask will save us and protect others. Let’s commit to doing the right thing by the wearing of masks in public. I’m grateful for all the partners that contributed to the success of this initiative our communities will be protected because of their generous gesture.”

Through the Ubuntu Cloth Mask initiative, an expanding community-based manufacturing network has been established for seamstresses from vulnerable communities who will receive income from manufacturing the masks. The initiative involves commercial retailers that will be selling the Ubuntu cloth masks. All the funds generated from sales will be channeled back into the initiative, enabling vulnerable seamstress networks to generate an income from the masks produced, and the free distribution of masks to communities.

“The Ubuntu Cloth Mask partnership invites businesses and the public to make direct financial contributions through The Health Foundation. And 100% of these funds will be used to manufacture and distribute the masks directly in the local vulnerable communities. We remain committed to promoting health and wellness by facilitating innovative partnerships and mobilising resources for priority public health care projects,” says Mr Harry Grainger, CEO of The Health Foundation.

How to get involved

To partner in the Ubuntu Mask public-private initiative, please contact Harry Grainger, CEO: The Health Foundation, at or 072 613 3719.

For financial donations, contact or 072 613 3719.

For general information about the Ubuntu cloth mask initiative and WoW!, contact or 021 483 8842.

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