Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to South Africa on Thursday, masks are now suggested for all South Africans leaving their homes.

“As we begin the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May, we are calling on all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home,” said Ramaphosa.

As such, many of us are now going to need masks.

You can make your own mask with or without a sewing machine following these guidelines on the Department of Health’s Coronavirus website.

For those who would prefer buying a mask, Takealot and Superbalist have announced they are joining forces (they are part of the same group though) to produce and distribute over 500 000 free fabric face masks.

The masks are made by Superbalist and will be warehoused and distributed by Takealot once they are ready.

Of those masks, 2 200 will be given to Beautiful Gate, Takealot’s NGO partner, to donate to families in the Western Cape.

As for the rest, Takealot will ship one adult mask per order that qualifies for free shipping.

The masks are a three-layer, polycotton blend with three pleats and elastic ties.

“In addition to the work we are already doing to distribute the R1 billion of PPE equipment donated by Naspers and Tencent, we want to extend our commitment and further help our community by using our resources. We recognise the important role that fabric masks can play in combating the spread of covid-19 and we are grateful to be able to do our part,” said Takealot Group chief executive officer Kim Reid.

Takealot will also sell masks. You’ll be able to pick up two adult or two child masks for R99.

Takealot reiterated its enforcement of hygiene safety measures adding that it has increased the frequency of cleaning and temperature testing at its facilities. Flu vaccines and nurses are available at its warehouses and surgical masks have been provided for Takealot’s drivers.