Coronavirus: our offices are closed, but we’re keeping connected

Image: Nicky Rehbock
Image: Nicky Rehbock

It was always going to be a matter of time before the global COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores.

The message by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday, 15 March 2020 has brought home the responsibility that we all have as human beings to ensure that we are all safe, and that we slow down the spread of the virus.

We have decided to cancel all our public events and our offices on Wits campus and in Cape Town will remain closed until further notice. In the interest of our staff, their families and the Wits community that we are part of, my colleagues and I will be working remotely until further notice. We have put the necessary measures in place to stay in touch with you and the institute remains contactable via phone and email.

Think tanks thrive on social interaction with our various stakeholders. These will continue, but we also recognise that they will be different over this extraordinary period. This crisis is an opportunity for us to be innovative in our policy engagements, debates and communications, while still doing work that is relevant and crucial in these uncertain times.

This global pandemic has reinforced a lesson that some have wanted to ignore – that international cooperation is essential to solve global challenges – even as we pull up the proverbial drawbridge to keep our populations safe. As we try to stay safe, let’s not allow the pandemic to bring out humanity’s most primordial instincts. Viruses know no boundaries.

Please continue to regularly monitor our websites, SAIIA and the Africa Portal. We promise to stay in touch via our various social media platforms TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram, as well as our fortnightly newsletter, with challenging and thought-provoking commentary and analysis. A small selection of our ongoing work follows below.

Finally, I would like to thank SAIIA’s partners for their continued support during this challenging time. It is your support that enables us to generate ideas and collaborate with regional and global networks to identify solutions to the many challenges that our continent and the world face.

– Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Chief Executive

17 Mar 2020