The world is facing an unprecedented crisis brought on by the coronavirus and South Africa is no exception. The events of the past few weeks are indicative of the reliance we have on one another, and of the support we can offer.
The impact of Covid-19 on our society, and our economy, cannot be understated; the effects of what is happening now will have a profound and lasting effect for months, even years from today.
I write this following the President’s announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus: apart from schools, tertiary institutions and businesses which have already shuttered their doors, the movement of people will be restricted and only essential personnel will be allowed to go to work.
The AA provides an essential service and will continue to do so during the lockdown period.
As an essential service provider, and in anticipation of the interventions announced last night, we implemented a number of business continuation measures to ensure there is no disruption to the service we provide you.
We have made contingency plans, we have fast-tracked plans scheduled for later this year but which we think are needed now, we have postponed those plans which can wait for later, and we have made every attempt to ensure we continue. Our goal is to provide an uninterrupted service and I want to reassure you that we can.
To alleviate the burden on our call centre during this time I want to urge you all to download the AA app which covers the essential areas of roadside assistance, emergency medical assistance, and AA Armed Response. The AA app will allow us to apply services to you in a digital environment through digital means, and I encourage you to download it today; downloading the app takes only a few minutes, but will greatly assist you and us if you use it.
The AA app is free and is available in the Huawei, Apple and Android stores, and will ensure a quicker response to you in your time of need. Our resources are being stretched, to be sure, and many of our staff will be working remotely. Our staff are all well trained and efficient but given the circumstances, they will need some respite.
From your perspective our contingency plans won’t impact on your service if you need us. We will continue to dispatch people to assist, we will still provide emergency response services, and we will continue to answer our phones. That much of this is happening from remote locations is not important. What is important is that we will be here for you.
Should you need us, please continue to use the numbers you always did, or better yet, use the AA app, and we will dispatch someone to you. Our patrolmen have been briefed thoroughly on social distancing, they all wear gloves, and they sanitise their hands regularly. Rest assured, you are in capable, safe, clean hands.
Automobile Association of South Africa