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Social and Economic Relief Package on the Cards

July 23, 2021

The Presidency

Government is working with social partners to finalise an extensive social and economic relief package that will support poor households and provide assistance to affected businesses and employees.

President Ramaphosa announced this in opening remarks at a recent virtual meeting with CEOs and business leaders on the current security situation in South Africa following last week’s violence and looting.

According to the president, the measures aim to respond to the immediate needs of poor households affected by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent violence; assist businesses to rebuild following looting and destruction of property; support sectors hamstrung by restrictions on economic activity and contribute to the longer-term goal of increasing growth, boosting employment and eradicating poverty.

“This package will include both the extension and repurposing of some of the COVID19 relief measures and specific relief for sectors affected by the violence like retail and property”, he said.

The president added that the “measures should support the work underway to re-open stores, find alternative retail sites and rehabilitate shopping centres and malls”.

The president emphasized that measures for township businesses, small businesses and the informal economy must be prioritized.

The details of the package will be announced soon.

The president also called for a special social contract to be developed to “respond to the crisis, and rebuild an economy that is far more resilient, sustainable, dynamic and inclusive”.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the presidency announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be produced in Cape Town by the Biovac Institute.

The president described the collaboration between South Africa’s Biovac Institute and the global pharmaceutical producer Pfizer as a breakthrough in the protection of African nations against COVID-19.

Biovac will manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution within Africa with technological transfer activities to get underway immediately.

The plan is for the facility to be brought into the Pfizer-BioNtech supply chain by the end of 2021.

In a statement, Biovac indicated that drug substance will be obtained from facilities in Europe and manufacturing of finished doses will commence in 2022.

Annual COVID-19 vaccine production is set to exceed 100 million finished doses.