CSIR data contributing to SA’s COVID-19 fight


President Cyril Ramaphosa is confident Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) technology and data will enable South Africa to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“As a nation we should be proud we have an institution like the CSIR always trying to be ahead of the curve in terms of solutions for the nation to utilise,” the President said.

He made the remarks during a visit to the Department of Health (DoH)’s COVID-19 Information Centre, a data centre set up to monitor and track the spread of COVID-19.

“The CSIR stepped up and are doing this in the most scientific way. They have information of 45 million South Africans, through the Department of Health’s National Health Insurance programme. As we are managing the Coronavirus through technology and science, we have a good platform and a base.

“They are linking provinces, districts and all hospitals, all beds available and hotels for isolation or quarantine centres. All that is available here and will enable us to fight COVID-19,” the President said.

Vodacom is working with government to fight the virus. The company will provide 20 000 healthcare workers with mobile phones with an app carrying CSIR data.

“The phones will come with 500 minutes and five gigs of data for health workers to access information on COVID-19,” Vodacom Group chief executive officer Shameel Joosub said.

Vodacom has an e-school platform available in all 11 official languages with all the syllabi from Grade R to 12. This is available free.

“We launched a virtual doctor platform with Discovery, hopefully this can take pressure off the health system,” Joosub said.