Mkhize: COVID-19 exposes all the weaknesses in SA’s social, economic structures

While South Africa was praised by the international community for its efforts to contain the virus during the hard lockdown, the effects on South African households and the vulnerable have been devastating.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said an immediate and progressive response is needed to address the country's poverty crisis. Picture:  Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said government was increasing efforts to target widespread poverty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate a humanitarian crisis.

While South Africa was praised by the international community for its efforts to contain the virus during the hard lockdown, the effects on South African households and the vulnerable have been devastating.

The Minister said vulnerabilities had been exposed by COVID-19.

“It exposes all the weaknesses in our social and economic structures. It has worsened the situation by those conditions such as poverty, unemployment, and quality – it just challenges the basics of our human rights in society. All of those weaknesses tend to get exploited by this pandemic.”

Mkhize said an immediate and progressive response was needed to address the country's poverty crisis.

“Fundamentally, the economy has suffered. It is important for us to know that to rebuild the economy, we start by rebuilding the lives of our people in sectors such as tourism and mining so that we can start to restructure the economy together.”