The national disaster fund will be used to finance preventative measures for Covid-19

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni said on Monday that money from the national disaster fund will be made available to ensure that the government can tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). 

He did not mention the exact amount of money that will be granted by the fund but he added that, if there is a need, additional money will also be shifted from different departments and put into the fight against Covid-19. 

“As the situation develops, we will need to further finance. That means we need to reduce programmes throughout the government system by reducing the allocated amount so that we can shift funds to this programme,” said Mboweni. 

The minister, together with other South African ministers, as well politicians around the globe, have been addressing the media about their plans to tackle the spread of the virus. 

Mboweni added that the key issue is to make sure the country will not be in a situation where it is unable to procure equipment such as testing facilities or whatever else is necessary to tackle the virus. 

“I am happy that Minister [Nathi] Mthethwa is willing to suspend some of the activities so I can take some money from him and give it to the minister of health,” said Mboweni.

Mboweni was referring to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa saying events would have to be cancelled because of the national disaster declaration on Sunday by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Mthethwa had said that he is going to meet sporting bodies and the arts and culture sector tomorrow to plan a way forward. 

The minister of finance mentioned that the government has instituted structural arrangements between the national treasury and the department of health. 

The structure will see members of the executive council (MECs) of finance co-ordinating with the MECs of health regarding the resources needed.  

“This is a structural arrangement, to make sure we are co-ordinated and not haphazard,” he explained. 

While detailing several measures that the country will take to deal with the virus, the president mentioned that Covid-19 will have long-lasting effects on the economy. 

He added that the Cabinet is in the process of finalising a comprehensive package of interventions to mitigate the expected effects of Covid-19 on our economy. These will consist of various fiscal and other measures. 

ministerial address oin measures taken to limit spead of corona Photo Delwyn Verasamy

At the briefing, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said Cabinet has identified six areas that the government will seek to support to contain the spread of the virus, and to ensure there are economic means to fight the pandemic. 

These are:  

  • Securing supplies of basic public hygiene and medical stocks;
  • Monitoring the effect of the virus on the global economy and on critical export channels on which South Africa is dependent; 
  • Industrial measures to protect against infection
  • Organisation of industries to address potential downtime and shutdowns;
  • Discussing measures to deal with the anticipation of an economic slowdown; and 
  • Securing supply chains and dealing with the disruptions. 

Patel said further details will be provided at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) meeting scheduled for Monday evening. 

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe is a financial trainee journalist at the Mail & Guardian.

High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday