The duo aims to lead a call to '#MaskUp' and ensure that all drivers are well protected as they embark on their daily trips. 

"Having big brands and businesses like Uber support the grassroots economy in the way the YES model works is critical. YES is aggregating producers and helping with inputs and quality to get these businesses the big orders," says Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES.

"This model gets manufacturing jobs and funds go straight back into township pockets; these local economies have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 lockdown and we need mechanisms to push cashback in fast," adds Ismail-Saville.

"Businesses can do this as part of a supplier development project. Where you spend your money and buying local is the best way we can work together with businesses in South Africa to bring this economy back from the crisis we find ourselves in," Ismail-Saville says.

YES has indicated that it partnered with numerous township entrepreneurs to manufacture and distribute cloth masks for South Africans, while ensuring all regulations set by the National Department of Health are followed.

To date, the initiative has created 30+ YES Youth gig jobs in manufacturing and distribution, has kept 119 township seamstresses in work and has injected over R750 000 into township economies.

Nduduzo Nyanda, country manager for Uber says, "Supporting our local community is important for Uber and, through this partnership with YES, we can continue to do our part to help flatten the curve."

"We have successfully distributed masks to qualifying drivers in Johannesburg and Cape Town and we are thankful to YES for continuing to help us get more masks into drivers hands in our other cities, which will add to the goal of ensuring the health and wellbeing of all South Africans who use the platform," adds Nyanda.

"Masks alone will not contain the spread of COVID-19; a combination of the masks, social distancing and regular washing of hands remains the most effective way of fighting the spread of COVID-19," Nyanda says.

"Uber has also rolled out a number of new features and policies to help ensure the health and well-being of drivers and customers, including info in-app, no-contact delivery, providing drivers and couriers with sanitizer and PPE reimbursements, and more," concludes Nyanda.

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