As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, the demand for health care workers on the frontlines remains high.
With this increased demand comes an equal rise in the need for accommodation.
Hotel owner Kim Whitaker, after contracting Covid-19 earlier this year, decided to do something about it and launched Ubuntu Beds in March.
The organisation collaborates with businesses in the hospitality industry around SA to offer rooms that until now have been left empty due to lockdown restrictions.
“Ubuntu Beds has given us a way to show our gratitude to the health care heroes while supporting local tourism bussinesses.
“By offering accommodation, it means they [businesses] can keep their doors open and, most importantly, retain their staff,” Whitaker said.
As of June 1, Ubuntu Beds had partnered with 869 establishments and provided more than 15,000 rooms across the country.
In East London, one such partner is Kat Leisure operations director Russel Osner.
“Our industry is hospitality which has been hit hard by lockdown.
“Until now, we had these units just standing empty,” he said. Osner said they had been offering accommodation to health care workers at a 50% discount after Ubuntu Beds reached out to them in May.
“They contact us and tell us a health care worker is coming.
“They give us the time and the place, they handle everything,” he said.
Health care workers in need of accommodation, or those looking to partner with Ubuntu Beds, can find out more information by visiting www.ubuntubeds.org