Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

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. 

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

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

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘Exciting’ ramp-up for Covid jabs

As more vaccines arrive in the country, South Africa could administer 420 000 doses a day

Mokgoro was party to talks of his resignation

The North West premier has defied the interim provincial committee’s decision

More top stories

‘Exciting’ ramp-up for Covid jabs

As more vaccines arrive in the country, South Africa could administer 420 000 doses a day

Mokgoro was party to talks of his resignation

The North West premier has defied the interim provincial committee’s decision

Richard Calland: Cyril’s wicked cabinet conundrum

Three weeks ago, a second term for the president seemed a safe bet, but the insurgency has thrown the puzzle pieces in the air

ConCourt finds that protection of LGBT+ rights was intrinsic to...

The court also found that the term hurtful should be excised from the Equality Act in that it did not meet the justification threshold in the Constitution and gave Parliament 24 months to do so
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×