Coronavirus in South Africa: Misuse of Covid-19 funds ‘frightening’

  • A scathing report into the use of South Africa’s Covid-19 relief fund has revealed overpricing and potential fraud, the auditor general says.

Kimi Makwetu says the audit uncovered “frightening findings”.In some cases personal protective equipment (PPE) was bought for five times more than the price the national treasury had advised.The report also has flagged up 30,000 relief grants which “require further investigation”.

Mr Makwetu has been tracking the spending of 500 billion rand ($26bn; £19bn) which is equivalent to 10% of the country’s gross domestic product.

“A lot of the effort that we put into this on the detection side of things has revealed a number of frightening findings that require to be followed up very quickly so that there is no significant passage of time before the required actions are implemented,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The allocated funds were meant to assist vulnerable households with food parcels, unemployment grants, support small business, farmers and to also procure personal protective equipment.