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SA plans R36bn relief package to deal with Covid-19, unrest impact – finance ministry

In support to businesses and individuals affected by Covid-19 restrictions and recent unrest.
Image: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

South Africa plans relief measures worth about R36 billion ($2.4 billion) to support businesses and individuals affected by Covid-19 restrictions and recent unrest, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The package will be funded by better government revenue collection and by shifting around some spending, senior officials told a news conference, addressing measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

“We are funding this package within available resources currently. We are not going to be going for borrowing at all,” National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane said. “All in all, ladies and gentleman, there is about R36 billion worth of support that we are putting on the table.”

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said acts of looting and arson following the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma had probably caused around R50 billion of damage. He said the government would allocate more money to the police and military.

Jacob Zuma turned himself in to police on July 7 to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court after defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his nine years in power until 2018. Zuma denies there was widespread corruption under his leadership.

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