South Africans Protest over COVID19-Relief Fund Misuse - Newslibre

South Africans Protest over COVID19-Relief Fund Misuse

Many South Africans took to the streets to protest after a report was recently released showing that the country officials had misused the COVID19 relief funds.

Like many countries around the World, South Africa was one of those that received relief funds meant to help the nation cope with the effects of the pandemic but also, to better prayer to handle it in the country.

The funds were supposed to procure PPE, help vulnerable households with food parcels, unemployment grants and support small businesses and farmers.

Yesterday, hundreds of medical personnel took to the streets to protest against lacking protective gear and low salaries as a scathing report revealed the country’s COVID-19 relief fund was misused.

The protesters gathered in Pretoria and Cape Town on Thursday, charging that the lives of healthcare workers are endangered as some health facilities have inadequate supplies of protective equipment like surgical masks.

The union leading the demonstrations – the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union – has threatened that its 200,000 public workers will go on strike on September 10 if their issues are not addressed.

Health Workers Planning to Protest Again If Protective Gear is not Availed as They Fight COVID19

“When our workers ask for information about infections, they are charged by their managers, yet the minister releases statistics every day,” alleged union leader Zola Saphetha.

South Africans Protest over COVID19-Relief Fund Misuse - Newslibre
The leaders of the Medical Workers Union in South Africa are threatening to continue with protests while COVID19 cases keep increasing. (Image Credit: AS English)

According to Kimi Makwetu the auditor general there was over pricing of certain items purchased with potential fraud. The auditor also states that in some cases, protective gear, or PPE, was bought almost five times more than the price advised by the national treasury.

“There are fewer people who are able to monitor and supervise transactions, others who know best take the opportunity,” said Makwetu.

This comes at a time when South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa had come out strongly that he was going to fight graft left over by his predecessor Jacob Zuma in the country.

South Africa has the most coronavirus cases in Africa and is the sixth-worst hit country in the world.

As of September 2, South Africa has 628 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 14 263 deaths, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.

Also, read: Rwanda Moves Curfew to 7PM as COVID19 Cases Increase

South Africans Protest over COVID19-Relief Fund Misuse 1

Author: Moses Echodu

Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.

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