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South Africa is in the middle of its worst drought in recorded history, and reports suggest it could cost the economy as much as R20 billion. To assist struggling farmers, WeChat Africa has unveiled a mobile donation channel in partnership with Agri SA. For your first donation, WeChat will refund the money back into your mobile wallet, up to a maximum of R50.

“South Africa is currently experiencing the worst drought this decade, says Omri van Zyl, CEO of Agri SA. The Agri SA drought fund has been created to help farmers, farm workers and communities in need as the country battles severe food, fodder and water shortages. Every donation helps.

“We are pleased by the news that WeChat has joined the cause, and is using their platform to encourage people to get involved.

“WeChat has made the process of donating very simple, and we are fully behind the idea of technology being used to reach as many South Africans as possible.”Users receive a one-time rebate for the money they pledge

The WeChat payment platform can be used by anyone with access to an Android and IOS phone. You simply download the application, open up the virtual “wallet” and pledge a small amount to the relief effort. For every donation, WeChat will refund the money back into your wallet, up to a maximum of R50. You have the option of donating a second time, putting the rebate you received back into the drought fund. This, says WeChat, is in order to encourage everyday South Africans to help farmers in need.

The WeChat Wallet is powered by Standard Bank South Africa and the system keeps administrative charges to an absolute minimum. In total, no more than 3% of each individual donation is deducted through administrative charges, meaning the 97% of the donation goes directly to the farmer.

Brett Loubser, Head of WeChat Africa, says: “We noted with concern the numerous reports on the rising number of farmers who’ve applied for emergency assistance, as well as well-meaning South Africans willing to assist them during this difficult period. The donation channel will allow for WeChat Wallet users to donate to a fund that will allocate resources and funding at the best rate available.

“We are committed to bringing solutions that have a meaningful impact. As such, we want to reward those that even during these tough economic times, are still willing to play their part in building, sustaining and supporting this crucial industry.

“WeChat is committed to using technology to connect people and businesses. We are pleased that we offer the best affordability for businesses and consumers to connect and transact. We want to make every day easier,” Loubser added.

To assist the drought relief effort, download WeChat on your phone here.

Once installed, hit the “+” button, tap “Scan QR code”, and hover over the code below. Simply follow the prompts to donate.

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