Solidarity Fund to shut down operations in September

At least R3.3 billion has been disbursed by the fund.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The Solidarity Fund will be shutting down operations in September, following a decision taken by its board.

In its statement, released on Thursday, it notes that the fund was never intended to be a permanent solution; rather it was implemented to serve as an urgent interim solution to support government’s response to Covid-19.

“The fund believes that it has fulfilled its current mandate. Its funds are effectively fully allocated or disbursed and no further fundraising, active or passive, will take place,” it said.

According to the fund, further fundraising and new interventions, or funding, will not be considered – with immediate effect. Moreover, remaining funds are in the process of being defined, allocated and aligned to the closure timeline of the fund.

“The bulk of the formal process to close the fund will take place from this month through to July, and the final plans and processes will take place through August and September 2022,” it added.

“South Africa and the world are out of the crisis phase of Covid-19 and [are] entering a stage where the approach to Covid-19 needs to be normalised and managed alongside many diseases in society,” it said.

“Further, as the pandemic ebbs and flows and its impact on society has become more understood, the public and private healthcare sectors have evolved such that there is a much-reduced need for interventions such as ours.”

As of March 16, just under R3.8 billion in Covid-19 relief funding had been received by the fund just and under R3.3 billion has been disbursed.

This includes the R2.3 billion allocated towards the Health Response Pillar, R429 million under Humanitarian Support and R458 million under Behaviour Change and Communications; R100 million was transferred to the Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund (HCRF).

The fund says a further R497 million was donated and a R100 million worth of internal resources were allocated for use in its fourth pillar, HCRF, following the 2021 July unrest.

Of this amount R573 million has been disbursed to date and the balance of the funds have been allocated to programmes, leaving R1 million available.

Tandi Nzimande, CEO of the Solidarity Fund commented: “The fund is unique in the world – bringing government, business and civil society together in a unified battle against a great threat. It stands as a global example for solidarity and impact delivery in a time of crisis. I know I speak for the whole Solidarity Fund team when I say it has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve our country in this manner.”

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