With all conferences and live entertainment work cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, South African rental company MGG is utilising its fleet of 32 vehicles – ranging from 45ft artics to small run-around vans – to help move around essential medical and other supplies during the crisis.
The idea came from Owner and Managing Director Mark Gaylard, who wrote a post about the subject on his personal Facebook page, which attracted nearly 400 shares. Since the post, MGG has seen a steady uptake in the offer, which is helping keep MGG’s six full-time drivers as well as their regular freelancers busy.
The company has had calls to move anything from eggs and other foodstuffs and agricultural produce, to steel and building materials. All-important medical supplies such as hand-sanitising products have been trucked from the docks in Durban, up to the commercial hub of Johannesburg. The drivers have even moved a small business’s offices.
“I quickly realised that the general transport and freight business is radically different from moving and delivering goods and trucking services in our core entertainment industry world,” commented Gaylard. “It’s highly competitive and a lot of the work gets outsourced to those who don’t own their own vehicles. It’s definitely not an environment where you can just flip a switch and start moving goods as you might be used to, but it’s been extremely interesting.”
The manufacturing side of MGG has also been furtively producing Covid-19 hazard warning signage while there are no shows going on – another area in which they have tried to use the time and talents of the workforce positively.
Despite the difficult situation, Gaylard is optimistic about the future of the industry in South Africa. “Live events, music, theatre, etc. are very vibrant sectors, and people love to congregate and enjoy each other’s company, energy and an atmosphere,” he commented. “When we come through this, I think there will be a massive demand. While there may be some changes in the way we use remote networking technologies, people will still need and enjoy getting together, music fans will still want to experience bands and DJs live, theatre and moviegoers will still want to relax and escape for that time – we will bounce back!”
Photo: courtesy MGG