President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Ramaphosa to address the nation tonight on economic and social relief measures

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 21, 2020

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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation tonight on the economic and social relief measures to be implemented in response to pressures posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.

The presidency said in a statement on Tuesday morning the announcement forms part of the national response and discussions within the Cabinet which took place on Monday.

"The president’s address flows from recent deliberations at Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council, and the National Economic Development and Labour Council, among others," Ramaphosa's office said.

The time for the address will be communicated during the day.

Ramaphosa will address the nation as the country approaches a month in a national lockdown which was implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

On Monday the health department confirmed 3 300 people had tested positive for the virus and 58 had died from complications related to the virus.

A total of 121 510 tests had been conducted.

There has been mounting pressure on the government to do more to come up with economic relief measures to curb the impact of the national lockdown. The closure of businesses has seen many people face the prospect of no income and various protests have ignited across the country.

Protesters have hijacked trucks carrying food, while many have said they do not have food to eat. Several businesses have had to cut back spending which in turn impacts workers and families across the country.

Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter on Monday he was aware of the pressure the lockdown has imposed on citizens.

He said welfare provision will be scaled up to decrease the pressure.

"The social partners have put forward a number of proposals on interventions that could address the immediate vulnerability of the poorest of the poor, most of whom rely on social assistance to survive. We will scale up welfare provision during this period to help households living below the poverty line.
"Even when the nation-wide lockdown is lifted, its effects will continue to be felt for some time to come. Those fortunate to have a steady income will be able to return to their jobs; but for millions of others this will be a lost month where they would otherwise have found temporary work, done business in the informal sector or saved money earned to meet their family responsibilities," the president said.
"Food support is a short-term emergency measure. It will need to be matched by sustainable solutions that help our most vulnerable citizens weather the difficult times that are still to come."


* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government's 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or go to SA Coronavirus for more information.

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