SUMMARY: Ramaphosa's speech on schools closing, corruption

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to provide an update on the government's strategies to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

PRETORIA - 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.

He made the announcement after consultations with various stakeholders.

The president also said the school year will be extended beyond December.

Here is a summary of Ramaphosa's announcements;

On the closure of schools

• 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.

READ: SAHRC, DA condemn decision to close public schools

Ramaphosa also said that all those found guilty of embezzling COVID-19 funds will be prosecuted.

On corruption related to COVID-19 funds

• 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.