It has been more than 3 months since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced R500 Billion in funds meant to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Country.
The Government has however announced that these funds were already exhausted and they have reached out to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of R70.6 Billion ($4.3B) and the National Treasury announced on the 27th of July that the loan was approved by the IMF.
These funds are set to be available within a week, and will be directed to the front line workers including health workers, help speed up the process of Job creation and more as President Ramaphosa warned that there will be an increase in the unemployment rate from the 30.1 percentage released by Statistics SA based on a quarterly report and also protect the vulnerable.
These news were met with mixed reactions, on whether it was a wise decision to borrow money from the IMF given the current debt status of the Country and the conditions of these loans.
Delivering the supplementary budget speech on the 24th of June Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reassured South Africans that the loans/debts that south Africa has from outside funders will not take away the country’s sovereignty.
Meanwhile the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is investigating a total of R2.2 Billion from alleged misuse and looting of funds from the R500 Billion allocated as a stimulus package for Covid-19 during a national state of disaster.
Some of the funds were looted through false UIF claims, Abuse of food parcel distribution, Tenders for the provision of PPE’ amongst others in which more than 50% of the PPEs scandals comes from the Gauteng province, some well known Government officials alleged to be associated with these scandals include Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku amongst many. The SIU’s spokeperson Kaizer kganyago said in an interview that the Unit is working around the Clock to recover the funds back to government, using anyway possible.