Response to COVID-19

Chapter: South Africa | Project range: National | Year: 2020

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Theory of Change

Policy & Insititutional Change
Better Institutional Processes
Behaviour Change
Anti-Corruption Activism
Change Type:



The South African government introduced some of the strictest nationwide lockdown measures in the world on the 26 March 2020 (which were partially eased from 1 May 2020 on), and restricted economic activity and the movement of people. In April, the government published the draft Disaster Management Tax Bill, and the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill, which make stipulations for tax measures in order to assist with alleviating cash flow burdens on tax-compliant small to medium-sized businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

The UN has criticized South African security forces for deploying hard power to enforce the lockdown regulations. Due to prevalent corruption, there are fears that legislation to stop the spread of false information could be used to restrict legitimate reporting on the virus response or other issues. In May, the government was pressured by the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to explain how 37 million rand ($3m; £1,6m) could be spent on a 40km (25 mile) border fence to keep Zimbabweans with COVID-19 out.


  1. Monitoring the procurement regulatory framework
    Monitoring & evaluation
  2. Corruption Watch sent a letter to the National Treasury expressing their concerns regarding the lack of transparency in relation to the release of different instruction notes concerning emergency procurement under Covid-19. The main concerns are emergency procurements under previous regulations, how the process occurred, what reporting and publication requirements are in place to support the decisions.
  3. Monitoring emergency procurement through available data published online
    Monitoring & evaluation
  4. Online webinar-based training for journalists and CSOs on procurement corruption, data use, open contracting and COVID-19.
    Awareness raising