The President was speaking on Monday, 3 August 2020 in response to public complaints about his government’s handling of the US $29 billion in aid funds given to institutions and individuals that have not been properly managed in because of alleged “hijackings” by officials.
These relief funds were intended to purchase necessary medical equipment for hospitals and healthcare workers, and to protect those who lost their jobs due to lockdown by paying them $20 a month.
Instead, relief funds have been used to purchase personal protective equipment at inflated prices and food packages are being stored instead of distributed to the needy, according to allegations.
Ramaphosa said all this shenanigans would soon cease, calling the practices “heinous” and that their perpetrators would be treated “with firmness and severity”.
“Trying to profit from a disaster that claims the lives of our people every day is a scavenging act,” said Ramaphosa.
He added: “As we find ourselves in the grips of the greatest health emergency our country has seen in over a century, we are witnessing thefts by individuals and businesses without conscience. Unfortunately, this insidious behavior is not limited to small companies, but also to large.”