SUMMARY: Ramaphosa’s speech on schools closing and corruption


President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on public schools closing for a month and the management of the resources that government has dedicated towards the fight against COVID-19.

Ramaphosa announced that all public schools will close for up to a month, due to the rise in COVID-19 infections.

After the consultations he had with various stakeholders, he made the announcement.

He also added that the school year will be extended beyond December.

Here is a summary of Ramaphosa’s announcements:


• All public schools should take a break for the next four weeks.

• Schools will be closed from 27 July and will re-open on 24 August.

• Grade 12 learners and teachers will only take a one-week break, returning to school on 3 August.

• Grade 7 learners will take a two-week break, returning to school on 10 August.

• Specific arrangements will be made for different categories of special schools.

• The current academic year will be extended beyond the end of 2020.

• The National School Nutrition Programme will continue to operate so that all learners or their parents can collect food directly from schools.

The president also said that those guilty of embezzling COVID-19 funds will be prosecuted.


• An investigations centre has been set up to probe all alleged corruption related to COVID-19 funds.

• Ramaphosa says different arms of the state will work together on the investigations.

• The Auditor-General has also adopted special measures to safeguard funds committed to the fight against COVID-19.

• Special audits have been undertaken to detect and prevent misuse of these funds and to identify risks in the system.

• Investigations into the distribution of food parcels, social relief grants, the procurement of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, and the UIF special COVID-19 scheme have already begun.

• At least 36 cases are currently at various stages of investigation and prosecution.

• Ramaphosa also signed a special proclamation empowering the Special Investigating Unit to probe any contract or tender implicated in COVID-19 corruption.

• To ensure that action is taken speedily, Ramaphosa will be getting interim reports on investigations every six weeks.


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