MAAK ’n PLAN: Few phrases do a better job of summing up the resourcefulness of South African people, the ‘McGyver’ nation. Almost 70 years ago, a fellow South African got tired of his VW Beetle breaking down in rainy weather, so he formulated a moisture-repellent to solve the problem. Today, we call that formulation Q20, and it’s a product recognised around the world.

There are countless examples of everyday South Africans doing what we do best: problem-solving. And, when the need arises, we pull together and find solutions as a nation. If there were ever a group that best embodies this sense of ‘ubuntu’ and ‘maak ’n plan’ resilience, it would have to be our National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

Although South Africa has an extensive coastline of ragged rocks and high seas, we are a nation without a coast guard or government-run sea rescue organisation. The men and women who take to the seas and risk their lives daily, are volunteers in the NSRI: a crowd-funded organisation with a 50-year history.

In most cases, the equipment used by the NSRI (including the boats, quad bikes, jet skis, and 4x4s) is bought with funds raised by South African people. It’s seldom that these assets are sponsored by a manufacturer or government department, so they’re often bought at full retail price. With more than 40 NSRI stations nationwide, the cost to run this juggernaut project totalled R120 million in 2018 alone, most of which is the result of individual donations!

Naturally, with so much riding on the reliability of the equipment, and the need to keep the gear running for as long as possible (in a severely corrosive environment), Q20 has sponsored a wide range of products to all 41 NSRI stations nationwide for the last 2 years.

This year (2019), however, we’ve also pledged R1 to Sea Rescue for every can of Q20 sold, so look out for the can with a Sea Rescue sticker.

Needless to say, every Rand donated helps to save a life, and quite possibly supports South Africa’s proudest example of what can be achieved when a nation of people pulls together.

For more information about the NSRI and their incredible history, visit: www.nsri.org.za

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