Ramaphosa reassures SA that COVID-19 relief funds won't be wasted or stolen

The sentiment, which formed part of his address to the nation on Wednesday night, follows increasing concerns by the public over corruption with reports that some leaders were even hogging food parcels.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on the coronavirus measures on 13 May 2020. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to reassure South Africans that funds that were dedicated to the COVID-19 response would not be wasted or stolen.

The sentiment, which formed part of his address to the nation on Wednesday night, follows increasing concerns by the public over corruption with reports that some leaders were even hogging food parcels.

There are dozens of moving parts in the management of the billions of rand being channelled to COVID-19 programmes.

On Wednesday night, Ramaphosa mentioned a few such as the Solidarity Fund, which has now raised R2.7 billion in commitments from 175,000 people and 1,500 companies and foundations.

Then there’s the R500 billion economic and social relief package, which includes contributions by the unemployment insurance fund among other entities.

“We are determined that our response matches the proportions of the crisis and help to ensure that the foundations of our economy are protected.”

Ramaphosa described the scale of the measures as “historic”.

However, time will tell if the country’s history of corruption and wastage will not permeate the COVID-19 financial interventions.

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For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.