R1-trillion economic package in the pipeline

Masks hang in the sun on a line in Cape Town during the lockdown. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

Things changed overnight in South Africa on 15 March, and it won’t be the last time it does. Daily Maverick’s Daily Digest will provide the essential bits of information about Covid-19 in South Africa each day. Please do read on to understand these issues more deeply.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering a R1-trillion stimulus package proposal to mitigate the economic damage done by the lockdown. Targeted sectors will include those which are currently not listed as essential service providers such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality and tourism.

The proposal was discussed at a Nedlac meeting on 17 April where business, labour and community representatives were present. Ray Mahlaka spoke to an attendee about the content of the package.


South Africa’s Covid-19 statistics as of 19 April, according to the Department of Health. (Source: Department of Health)



A coalition of 245 civil society organisations, under the banner of the C-19 People’s Coalition, have renewed their call for the child support grant to be topped up with R500. They say that by doing this, government can reach 80% of families worst affected by the lockdown and assist in substituting the income they have lost because of the lockdown.

They argue that government has the R40-million available to provide help to 13 million grantees over the next six months. Their main concern is access to food: they argue the distribution of food parcels is essential, while capacity is weak and the process has been politicised.

As Estelle Ellis writes, they have appealed to government to work with civil society, as they say they understand and know the communities best. Their statement can be read here.

A poster for the first online People’s Assembly hosted by the C-19 People’s Coalition. (Source: C-19 People’s Coalition)

A host of rural activists have utilised online spaces to discuss how the pandemic has highlighted the inadequacy of South Africa’s social and security systems. As Zukiswa Pikoli writes, most agreed that those living in rural areas have been forgotten as the government and society focuses on urban areas in their response to the crisis.

As the school year tries to stay the course on a rocky road, some digital companies have stepped up to the task to provide free e-learning content for students who are learning remotely. Snapplify and Learning Lab Apps have launched free programmes kitted out with digital books, textbooks, study guides and educator guides. Shani Reddy spoke to the teams who made it happen.

On Saturday, South African musicians Sho Madjozi, Black Coffee and Cassper Nyovest took part in the six-hour-long One World: Together at Home online concert. The global initiative was organised by the World Health Organisation and was streamed worldwide. It aimed to create awareness about the sacrifices and courage of healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line in order to save others. DM


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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