CAPE TOWN- President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that R500 billion rand will be channelled into healthcare, vital municipal services and social relief.
A temporary six-month Covid-19 grant will also be available to the most vulnerable families in the country.
The President’s announcement follows a cabinet meeting on Monday with the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and the National Economic Development and Labour Council.
The discussions were focused around ways to cushion the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
“The urgent and dramatic measures we have taken to curb the virus have been absolutely necessary,” he said.
In the coming weeks, government will announce plans for a carefully considered reopening of the economy.
Earlier on Tuesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that Covid-19 infections in South Africa have increased by 165, bringing the total to 3465. The death toll still stands at 58.
Here are the three phases of SA’s economic response
The first phase began in mid-March when Ramaphosa announced the national lockdown. To mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic, certain measures were put in place such as tax relief, the release of disaster relief funds, emergency procurement, wage support through the UIF and funding to small businesses.
The second phase of South Africa’s economic response to stabilise the economy include addressing the extreme decline in supply and demand and protecting jobs. As part of this phase, a massive social relief and economic support package of R500 billion has been allocated to healthcare, vital municipality service and social relief. This amounts to around 10% of GDP.
Finally, the third phase involves the recovery and reopening of the economy as the country emerges from this pandemic.
Ramaphosa said that more details of the three phases will be outlined in the coming days.
South Africa has never had to deal with a public health emergency on the scale of the coronavirus pandemic. Extraordinary funding measures totalling R500bn are being channelled into healthcare, vital municipal services & social relief. #COVID19 #CoronaVirusSA pic.twitter.com/hzI6ZlFstJ
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) April 21, 2020
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