President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he was disturbed and disgusted by claims that people, including government officials, were allegedly selling food parcels earmarked for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa has conceded that the lockdown has exacerbated long-standing issues around poverty, inequality and unemployment in the country.
Last month, President Ramaphosa took the decisive but difficult decision to impose a strict lockdown on South Africans’ movements, including stalling the economy in order to save lives in the face of the pandemic.
Now 25 days into the lockdown, Ramaphosa said that this decision had now also revealed a very sad fault line in our society that was tearing communities apart – poverty and inequality.
While some are still living in comfort despite the lockdown restrictions, others are struggling to survive with little or nothing at all.
Ramapohosa said that the country was at a stage of its battle with COVID-19 where it could be disastrous if South Africans became complacent.
The president said that thousands of people were faced with many difficulties during the pandemic but wondering where their next meal would come from should not be one of those difficulties.