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Zulu: Govt has to be more accountable for COVID-19 relief funds

The Social Development Minister on Thursday delivered a ministerial statement in the National Assembly to report back to Parliament on work done by her department during the lockdown.

FILE: Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu at a media briefing on 24 March 2020 by Ministers in the Social Cluster following the announcement of a national lockdown to contain COVID-19 in South Africa. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said government had to be more accountable for the billions in COVID-19 relief funds.

Zulu on Thursday delivered a ministerial statement in the National Assembly to report back to Parliament on work done by her department during the lockdown.

But almost all parties expressed their dissatisfaction with her department's performance.

Zulu said her department received an unprecedented R50 billion in COVID-19 relief funding.

This was part of the R500 billion announced by the President four months ago.

Listing some successes, she said the department had managed to distribute over a million food parcels.

But Zulu said government funds must be guarded closely.

“To those that receive such support from government, it’s to say to them please make sure that money reaches those it is intended for because government itself has to be accountable for the money we are distributing.”

However, opposition MPs like the Democratic Alliance’s Bridgette Masango said the department had failed dismally.

“The honourable minister’s executive statement today is yet another instalment in a series of excuses from a minister who has done nothing to alleviate the scourge of hunger.”

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