Vaal Triangle and other South Africans, who are struggling to cope during this time, will receive help from the government in various forms. President Cyril Ramaphosa last night addressed the nation, announcing various measures to combat the coronavirus and stimulate the economy. Ramaphosa announced that R500 billion will be spent to support South Africans dealing with the consequences of the coronavirus, which amounts to around 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The package includes an additional R50 billion towards social grants, which will see all grants increase by R250 over the next three months. A special R350 grant for unemployed people who do not receive government support will also be paid over the next six months. Ramaphosa says the coronavirus pandemic requires an economic response equal to the scale of the disruption it is causing. The president announced that an additional 100-billion-rand has been set aside to secure and create jobs. He adds that a R200 billion loan guarantee scheme in partnership with major local banks, National Treasury and the SA Reserve Bank will be introduced.
While the lockdown in its current format is set to end on 30 April, Ramaphosa has announced a phased approach will be followed. The president reiterated that we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease if we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly. He said we will, therefore, follow a phased approach, guided by the best available scientific evidence, to gradually lift the restrictions on economic activity. Ramaphosa said he would address the nation on Thursday on the measures that would be taken beyond the nationwide lockdown to re-open the economy. PHOTOS: (SA Presidency)