NEF funding unlocks orders of 300 000 masks per month for V-Care Medi
South Africa still needs vast quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health sector to deal with the expected load of COVID-19 cases. It is estimated that the country has 4 weeks’ worth of stock left for frontline medical staff and other essential health workers. While the subsiding coronavirus crisis in China has freed up some of its capacity to export PPEs, some 180 countries are all currently vying for the same medical equipment, necessitating South Africa to do more to secure diminished stocks.
The biggest shortages are in barrier gloves to be used in day-to-day healthcare operations, and surgical face masks for the use of patients. Other gaps are 11 million aprons, 160,000 goggles or face shields, 5 million biohazard bags, 22 million gowns, 10 million N95 respirators, 21 million surgical masks for health-care workers.
The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has approved business loan funding of R950 500 to V Care, which is a 100% black-owned company comprising 50% blank female youth active participation and 50% black active male participation respectively.
“NEF approval of a R950 500 loan is for a specific order of 100 000 three-ply masks against which V Care has an irrevocable letter of guarantee of R1.04 million from Impulse Care Pharmacy, which is an existing customer of V Care. The client will, on the successful completion of this specific order, confirm consistent orders of 300 000 masks per month, even post-Covid-19, from V Care,” says NEF Investment Principal, Mr Joel Mphela,
“This loan will go a long way in unlocking future opportunities for our company. We are an experienced team with a track record within the industry, that is why we have managed to secure additional orders from various customers, thus reducing concentration risk because of strong relationships with pharmacies and medical consumable suppliers,” says Mr Parma Naik who holds a B.Com law degree and has been involved in various industries and companies.
Mr Mphela, says the investment rationale was based on the following developmental impact:
- 100% black ownership,
- Youth empowerment,
- Promotion of entrepreneurship,
- The funding is expected to maintain 3 permanent jobs and to create an additional 2 employment placements.