GABORONE, Botswana, April 2020/ — Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group has pledged P16 million towards the support of Government’s efforts in managing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Botswana. The contribution, on behalf of the Group and its Subsidiaries – Botswana Life, Bifm and Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) – and its parent company Sanlam, has been made with a view towards alleviating the financial burden on the Government in this time of National need.
Group CEO of the BIHL Group, Catherine Lesetedi, said: “The private sector continues to demonstrate commitment in working with the Government for the socio-economic development of Botswana. Now, in this time of a National health crisis and State of Emergency, that support is more vital than ever, building further on the incredible efforts of the Government thus far. As the BIHL Group, and on behalf of all Subsidiaries of this Group, and indeed our parent company, Sanlam, we want to make our unwavering commitment clear. Now is the time to unite and to use our Strength in Numbers for the betterment and protection of our people and our country.”
P4.5 million is earmarked for such efforts, as Government, to the COVID-19 Relief Fund which will channel the funds to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, specifically for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health and emergency services workers and to aid in the fight against this pandemic.
In addition, the Group has set aside an amount of P11.5 million which will be allocated to assisting the BIHL Group’s financial advisors, agencies and brokers to ease their financial burden during the period of lock down and post the lockdown. This is done to safeguard over 600 advisor jobs and to ensure the continued existence of insurance broking firms post the lockdown.
The BIHL Group also recognises the financial burden the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our valued clients, on this note plans are in place to alleviate this strain by offering our clients premium holidays and alternative payment arrangements as per the specific needs of each client.
Said Catherine Lesetedi: “As the BIHL Group we recognise the pressure that has and continues to intensify on the health-care workforce globally and in the communities that we operate in. We recognise the adverse effects that the front-line health-care practitioners face in the fight against Covid-19, moreover, without their services, we cannot win the fight against this pandemic. Therefore, the safety of the health-care workforce is of the highest priority and our support means that medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Botswana will be protected and have access to more resources to save lives in the fight against this disease. We want to be able to look back on this time and know that we did everything we could to help.
The BIHL Group will continue to engage with the Government to identify the greatest needs in this time and where the funds may be of greatest impact. As essential services providers, The BIHL Group, Botswana Life, Bifm and BIC continue to operate, encouraging clients and customers to engage through electronic means to minimise physical engagement in line with extreme social distancing protocols. The businesses have taken every precaution in line with international best practice in this time. The Group remains committed to doing all it can to support Batswana through these tough social and economic times.
Concluded Lesetedi, “We continue to see and read the reality that the Coronavirus does not discriminate. Each and every one of us is equally at risk and each and every one of us is equally responsible for ensuring we take the requisite actions for ourselves and our loved ones, protecting our health and wellbeing. The irony of this pandemic is that it forces us to be apart and yet, at once, unites us in the fight towards curbing its spread. We can and we will beat it, but in doing so, we must all play our respective roles by taking the advisory of Government and the Ministry of Health and Wellness and take it seriously.”