Ramaphosa promises to be ruthless on profiteering during Covid-19 crisis

South Africans watch as President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation over the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic on Monday night.
South Africans watch as President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation over the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic on Monday night.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised law enforcement will be ruthless against individuals who see the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to make profits and be corrupt.

This promise was made as Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown, starting on Thursday, which included several announcements of big amount of money pledged to mitigate with the spread of Covid-19.

These included a R3bn industrial funding commitment to assist vulnerable firms.

Furthermore, the department of tourism will set aside R200m to assist those in the sector who have been the hardest hit by the virus. The department of small business development has already set aside R500m to assist small and medium-sized businesses.

Ramaphosa said this was the time for all to act in the best interests of the country.

"We expect all South Africans to act in the interest of the South African nation and not in their own selfish interest," said Ramaphosa. 

"We will act very strongly against any attempts at corruption and profiteering of this crisis. Special units of the NPA will be put together to move immediately and act against those we find evidence of corruption."

Ramaphosa said the SA Reserve Bank and all commercial banks will make it a point that notes and coins were available during the lockdown.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange would also continue to function, he said.

Unity of purpose was what would help the country to defeat the scourge of Covid-19.

"I call on all of us to play our part and our role, to be courageous, be patient and show solidarity and compassion on one another," he said. "We are a nation of one and we are surely going to prevail. May God protect our people."


X