Corruption Watch: government COVID-19 economic response inadequate, punitive

South African citizens queuing to collect their SASSA grant

Corruption Watch says the economic measures put in place by the government so far are punitive to the poor and working class in South Africa based on the human rights of all people including women, children and foreign nationals.

“Access to sufficient food and relief from economic hardship are fundamental rights entrenched in the South African Constitution alongside the right to access healthcare services.

But the Budget Justice Coalition (BJC) notes the economic measures put in place by government are punitive to the poor and working class,” said Corruption Watch.

Corruption Watch adds that the government economic measures which are inadequate and punitive will result in vulnerable groups to face exclusion, hunger and destitution.

“Evidence is piling up that millions of people are suffering as a result of a loss of income and the restrictions placed on the informal market by the lockdown regulations,” they said.

Corruption Watch also says this inadequacy threatens to undermine the initial progress made in the public response to the disaster.

“Poor households start going short on food in the middle of the month and these shortages are worsened during lockdown,” they said.

Corruption Watch says South Africa’s COVID-19 response should provide impetus for the long-term mobilization of resources and capacity toward the fulfilment of all socio-economic rights, to further the spirit of the South African constitution.