- Andile Ramaphosa's involvement in a R6 million Covid-19 project recently raised some eyebrows
- The president's son formed part of an initiative to help curb the spread of Covid-19 as well as the economic impact thereof
- Briefly.co.za explores the truth behind the speculation that the project was state-funded
When Andile Ramaphosa's involvement in a Covid-19 project in Gauteng was made public, many people were sceptical over the situation.
Reports indicated the Andile had been working to install technology into taxis in the province to help limit the spread of the virus by increasing ventilation. While on the surface it seemed like an admirable thing to be doing amid the pandemic, critics demanded to know where the funding had been found.
Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister Leon Schreiber has called for transparency, highlighting the importance of disclosing how the project was funded:
“Did Ramaphosa’s son get any state support in any form for this? Who are the 'media alliance partners' he brags about in the advert? According to the company, SDI Force ‘has also been involved in providing food parcels and personal protective equipment’. We need more clarity.”
Briefly.co.za has since spoken to a representative of SDI Force, the non-profit initiative that Ramaphosa set up with Brad Fisher.
In response to probing questions over where the funding for the project had originated, SDI Force commented:
"All funding is managed by an independent trust. This trust also provides for the establishment of a steering committee that includes funder representation, ensuring strict compliance. The independence of the trust, its commitment to ensuring total transparency and the clear line of sight afforded to the funders give further credibility to the initiatives implemented thus far."
Andile Ramaphosa says that he remains committed to the campaign despite the 'negative comments':
“Despite a few negative comments, SDI has had an overwhelmingly positive reception from media and businesses at large. We believe that this campaign will save countless South African lives, and that it goes directly to the heart of finding ways to face this pandemic head-on, and mitigate its effects.
"We have enabled taxi drivers and commuters with this initiative, but at the end of the day we advise all passengers to open windows in tight spaces, wear masks and sanitise regularly.”
Co-founder Brad Fisher expressed his gratitude to FNB and Bridge Taxi Finance for financially contributing to the project:
“We are deeply thankful to FNB and Bridge Taxi Finance for responding so quickly and providing the funds to help us create a safe environment for our taxi industry. The millions of South African workers who rely on taxis to get to work to drive our economy, and the school children who rely on these services, are now safer as a result.
"We appeal to corporates out there to Adopt-a-Safe-Passage to get their staff to work, and support this extremely urgent initiative, an initiative that saves lives.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance has called on Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to go public with all companies that have been awarded contracts with his department.
Shadow Minister of Health Siviwe Gwarube has revealed that the opposition party intends to make a formal request to have the companies and their board of directors revealed:
"The DA will write to Minister Mkhize and submitting [sic] Parliamentary questions requesting this information as a matter of urgency. Once this information is made public, we will do our due diligence to ensure that politically connected individuals have not been the chief beneficiaries of these contracts and that, in fact, these services are being provided in the provinces."
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