President Ramaphosa’s Coronavirus Relief Package Must Reach The Poor
The Coronavirus will hit economies hard. This is especially true for South Africa, which has already gone into recession and has been downgraded to junk status by all three ratings agencies – Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. President Cyril Ramaphosa has received well-deserved praise for his decisive, consultative and science-based leadership during the pandemic, and this same approach is needed to cure the country’s economic woes during and after the lockdown. It is for this reason that the President’s announcement on April 22, 2020 that up to 10% of South Africa’s GDP would be invested in pro-poor initiatives and Keynesian policies was heralded as a very important step in the right direction.
While welcoming this news, it is important to assess the scope of the package as well as the channels that are going to be used to reach the poor in order to ensure that those who are targeted by various interventions are in fact at the front of the queue when relief packages are distributed.
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Analysis by Nokutula Mhene and Dr. Roland Nkwain Ngam, Programme Managers at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southern Africa office.