Project General Description
The South Africa COVID-19 Response Support Program (SACRSP) results from a request from the Government of South Africa (GoSA) dated 4May 2020. South Africa confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020 and is currently the most affected in Africa, and among the top ten in the world in terms of confirmed cases (276,242 as at July 13, 2020 with 4,079 deaths). To respond to COVID-19 the Government, on 21 April 2020, unveiled a stimulus package of R500 billion and on 5 May, the National Treasury (NT) indicated its intention to mobilize USD 10 billion (UA 7.3b) from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to provide support to the economy and to address the financing needs arising from the COVID-19 shock. The operation is designed as a Crisis Response Budget Support (CRBS) Operation and financed by a loan of R 5,008,164,000.00 (Five billion eight million one hundred sixty-four thousand South Africa Rand) equivalent of UA 210m (Two hundred and ten million Unit of Account) from the African Development Bank resources under the COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF). Its implementation consists of three broad mutually reinforcing components derived from the policy objectives. Component 1 seeks to contain the pandemic in order to facilitate the phased reopening of the economy planned by the authorities; component 2 seeks to safeguard livelihoods and to cushion the poor and vulnerable from the adverse effects of the pandemic while component 3 focuses on economic resilience firstly to safeguard jobs which will be quite critical to ease the burden of the various socio-protection measures on individuals, society, business and state and secondly to catalyse economic recovery.
The purpose of the program is to support the GoSA’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to mitigate its economic and social impacts. It’s operational policy objectives are to: (i) Protect Lives and promote access to essential COVID 19 goods (ii) Protect Livelihoods by preserving jobs, incomes food security and access to essential public services (iii) Protect Firms by supporting Enterprises in the formal and informal economy to withstand the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for economic recovery.
The program will benefit the entire population. It will contribute to the safeguarding of the livelihoods of vulnerable men and women through gender inclusive social protection and economic relief schemes. This includes new categories of people who have become vulnerable due to COVID-19. In addition, the program will benefit the private sector (including MSMEs) and financial sector actors (such as banks that are partnering with Government to deliver the stimulus package). Businesses owned by women, youth, historically disadvantaged groups and persons with disabilities are a specific target groups. The program also looks to support the informal sector and the unemployed particularly in townships and rural communities.