South Africa’s MGG uses idle fleet to help medics and other industries

Published: 1 April 2020 - 12:23 p.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

With all conferences and live entertainment work cancelled or postponed, South African rental company MGG based in Johannesburg put its 32 idle vehicles to good use during the Coronavirus lockdown.

MGG’s vehicles – ranging from 45ft artics to small run-around vans – offered the fleet for moving essential medical and other supplies during the crisis.

The concept came from the company’s MD Mark Gaylard when announced the plan through social media.

A Facebook post about the transport fleet which went on his own personal page was shared 400 times.

MGG is one of South Africa’s renowned full production rental companies.

The lighting department has a large stock of Robe moving lights – amongst others.

In fact, only a few weeks MGG unveiled its latest investment in Robe’s new Esprite LED Profiles.

MGG employs six full-time drivers and a raft of freelancers. Calls were slow to come in initially.

They have had calls to move anything from eggs and other foodstuffs and agricultural produce to steel and building materials.

Medical supplies like hand-sanitising products have been trucked from the docks in Durban, KZN, up to the commercial hub of Johannesburg. They even had a call to move a small business’s offices.

Gaylard said: “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.”

“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.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country was in a lockdown for three weeks from 26th March in a bid to stop the virus spreading.

Despite all that and the general economic situation even before Covid 19 having been extremely tough in SA for some time, Gaylard is optimistic about the future of the entertainment, meeting and conferencing and leisure industries.

“Live events, music, theatre, etc., are vibrant sectors, and people do love to congregate and enjoy each other’s company, energy and an atmosphere. 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.”

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