Coronavirus in SA: Government has R96 million to assist individuals and families

Cape Town International Airport. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
Cape Town International Airport. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Department of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has activated the National Disaster Relief Fund and set aside R96 million to provide immediate assistance to individuals and families affected by the coronavirus.

In adhering to President Cyril Ramaphosa's call prohibiting more than 100 people gathering in a single place, Zulu has ordered that there will be a staggering of pay dates.

LIVE | Coronavirus: Retailers urge South Africans not to panic buy and DStv makes news channels free

Zulu has also referred more grant recipients to Post Offices to assist in minimising and mitigating the spread of the virus as these facilities become overcrowded during pay days.

Zulu has directed all social development, National Development Agency offices and Sassa pay points to remain operational during this period.

The department has suspended all external visits to child and youth care centres, drug rehabilitation and old-age centres, and shelters until further notice.

All large events and mass gatherings in the sector have been suspended with immediate effect.

Zulu has identified registered non-profit organisations to provide social services.

Psycho-social care

"All social service professionals will provide psycho-social care and support services to affected individuals and their families. They include trauma counselling, integration and re-unification of persons who have been isolated or quarantined to mitigate stigmatisation.

"We understand the huge inconvenience this will bring to parents or caregivers throughout the country because Early Childhood Development centres are safe places of care - in addition to education, children also receive protection, healthcare and nutrition. The protection of our children should remain uppermost during this period," said Zulu.

Zulu, who is part of the inter-ministerial committee tasked with tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, said working with the Department of Health and other key stakeholders must be in the forefront of national efforts to contain the further spread of the virus.

"Our efforts will be directed at ensuring we protect the most vulnerable - they will continue to require our services at this difficult time. While we do so, we must take all necessary precautionary measures to protect our staff and our clients, especially at access points in order to contain the spread of this contagious virus and to slow its spread," said Zulu.

She further urged all facilities to adhere to Occupation Health and Safety guidelines and to ensure that basic protective measures against the virus were provided.

"There is no doubt that the spread of Covid-19 will exacerbate the vulnerability of poor households and that it is likely to increase the demand for social services in the form of social grants, food relief and psycho-social services for affected individuals and families," said Zulu.

Stay up to date and stay healthy. Subscribe to Health24’s Daily Dose newsletter for important updates on the spread of the coronavirus. Register and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 721 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 8495 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1015 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.