COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Government Official Website
The DG Murray Trust

COVID-19 Response:

Not just a number, but a life that needs protecting.

Not just an anxious public, but people who must know they have a part to play in shaping the future.


In 2020 we undertook a series of emergency response approaches to COVID-19. Specifically, we aimed to provide support to those who are excluded from mainstream efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its impacts.

In 2021 we are leading a programme of coordinated donor support to the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Click below to read about this work.


The DG Murray Trust


The DG Murray Trust

As the number of new COVID infections start to decline, it is tempting to believe that everything can simply return to normal, but much have changed because of the pandemic and associated lockdowns. Most significantly, we know that already fragile communities are now even more vulnerable than they were before.

We focus on 10 opportunities to change South Africa and you can read details on what these opportunities entail and the strategies we believe will help achieve them here, however, as we prepare for a post-COVID society, we have identified strategic priorities for each of the 10 opportunities that will require much of our initial focus and energy. These are:


Nurture an innovative and inclusive society

Nurture an innovative and inclusive society

Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society

Strengthen civil society’s adaptive capacity

  • Expose civil society organisations to the changing South African funding landscape. 
  • Support organisations to improve their capacity to deliver on their mission.
  • Maximise the position of NPOs as connectors to vulnerable communities to drive public innovation that addresses community-level challenges.
  • Enable the sustainability and scaling of established food and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provision systems for the most vulnerable.
Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion

Seize the policy windows brought about by COVID-19 to reduce binge drinking
and increase access to digital resources

  • Curb the abuse of alcohol: make the most of the political interest to facilitate implementation of the WHO’s five ‘best buys’ to reduce the societal harms of alcohol
  • Support work done by organisations working at the intersection of alcohol abuse and other social ills.
  • Improve the use of zero-rated web- and mobi sites to establish a stronger case to extend the zero-rating of PBO websites beyond the Disaster Management Act.
Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change

Assert civil society’s place in national bodies representing various sectors of society

  • Advocate for the right civil society representation in forums like the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). 
  • Drive an understanding of the contribution civil society is uniquely positioned to make in these forums.

Keep all children on track by Grade 4

Keep all children on track by Grade 4

Give every child the benefit of early childhood development

Shift focus away from compliance and focus on improving the quality of
Early Childhood Development (ECD) programming

  • Leverage public employment programmes to scale and sustain the ECD sector.
  • Encourage government to investment in ECD programmes e.g. ECD continuity grant.
  • Support the creation of an ECD agency to ensure sustained resourcing and support for the sector.
  • Build an increasingly cohesive informational support system for ECD centres.
Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years

Support strategies to curb household food insecurity and malnutrition among children under two years of age

  • Invest in the realisation of the Maternity Grant to improve child and maternal health outcomes.
  • Create and support platforms to ensure the efficient delivery of food vouchers.
  • Promote nutrition for mothers and children in the first 1 000 days of life.
Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school

Unlock opportunities to make reading materials available in every household

  • Support the development of a sustainable market for books in South African languages.
  • Build capacity for civil society to mobilise community networks through zero-rated digital content.
Build simple, loving connections for every child

Support caregiver relationships with children in the context of increasing stress/fragility

  • Explore dual strategies for economic opportunities and socio-emotional support.
  • Build parental agency and by creating new social capital in vulnerable households.

Enable young people to get their first decent job

Enable young people to get their first decent job

Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed

Build stronger connections between homes and schools to improve learning

  • Build the agency of parents and teachers to engage with one another, and the broader education system.
  • Ensure educators keep learners connected with school through relevant communication channels, even if schools are closed.
  • Escalate the importance of socio-emotional support from parents and teachers to improve learning outcomes.
Create new connections to opportunity for young people

Make opportunity seeking less discouraging

  • Establish a national network of transitional support for young people to reduce social and economic discouragement.
  • Drive down the cost of mobile data and improve online access through zero-rating.
  • Close the information gap for young people.
  • Ensure all public employment and work programmes build skills and experience.
Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity

Protect learners and students against dropout

  • Offer psychosocial support to learners and students through para-professionals and equipped school-based support teams.
  • Deliver and demonstrate quality accelerated catch-up programmes for reading and numeracy through community educators and NPO programmes.
  • Ensure all learners are tracked through protected quality data.