President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that he and all ministers will receive a large salary cut for the next three months.
Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday 9 April 2020, Ramaphosa confirmed that the president, the deputy president, and cabinet ministers will all take a one-third salary cut.
The money saved by this salary reduction will be donated to the solidarity fund, which provides South Africans with financial assistance to combat the effects of the pandemic.
The fund is aimed at protecting vulnerable South Africans against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and providing healthcare for people who have tested positive for the disease.
Ramaphosa also announced an extension of the national lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lockdown will be extended by another 2 weeks beyond the original 21 days.
“This means that most of the existing measures will remain in force until the end of April,” he said.
“If we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly, we risk an uncontrollable resurgence of the disease. We risk undoing the work done during the last few weeks.”
Ramping up healthcare efforts
Ramaphosa said that the government does not take this decision lightly, and its priority is to prevent the massive loss of life which the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to inflict.
This will see healthcare efforts ramped up, along with financial packages provided for local businesses.
“We are only at the beginning of a monumental struggle,” said Ramaphosa.
“If we end the lockdown too soon, we risk a resurgence of the disease.”
The decision to extend the lockdown will have a negative impact on South Africa’s economy, and the SA Reserve Bank has estimated that as it stands, there will be a net loss of 370,000 jobs in the country this year.