Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has made R145bn available to fund the government’s Covid-19 efforts. He said that the allocations had been informed by “epidemiological modelling”, as well as the government’s experience of the pandemic.
“We have successfully increased our Covid‐19 bed capacity to above 27,000 identified 400 quarantine sites, with a capacity of around 36,000 beds across the country and deployed nearly 50,000 community health-care workers to screen millions of South Africans. We have tested over 1.3-million people,” Mboweni said.
“We are in the midst of a fast‐evolving pandemic. In South Africa and around the world, we have made the decision to protect each other. We have quickly adapted. We all now wear masks. We wash our hands more often. We maintain a safe social distance. As a result, millions have stayed safe. We remain deeply concerned about the path of the virus. But, in common with several other countries that adopted a stringent, early lockdown, we have flattened the curve and saved lives.
“The Supplementary Budget proposes R21.5 billion for COVID‐19‐related health care spending. It also proposes a further allocation of R12.6 billion to services at the frontline of our response to the pandemic. Allocations have been informed by epidemiological modelling, a national health sector COVID‐19 cost model and our experiences over the past 100 days.
“This money partly supports increased screening and testing, allowing us to open up more and more of the economy.
“We have successfully increased our COVID‐19 bed capacity to above 27 000; identified 400 quarantine sites with a capacity of around 36 000 beds across the country and deployed nearly 50 000 community health care workers to screen millions of South Africans. We have tested over 1.3 million people.
“Provinces will add at least R5 billion for the education catch‐up plan, social welfare support for communities and provision of quarantine sites by Public Works departments and responses in other sectors.
“We salute all the brave health care and essential service workers who are leading this fight.
“Tariffs have been agreed with private hospitals to supplement public sector capacity.
“The Solidarity Fund has augmented government’s efforts to procure medical and personal protective equipment.
“We thank all those who have made much needed contributions to the Fund.
“These examples show that working together with the private sector with a common purpose we can get stuff done.
“We will use these lessons to re‐energise public‐private partnerships.”