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 aim to provide support to those who are excluded from mainstream efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its impacts. Below our most pertinent response work is summarised.

  • Protection
  • Protection and support for Community Care Workers

  • Community health workers and other care workers are likely to be ‘at the bottom of the pile’ when it comes to protection, yet they will be at high risk entering people’s homes or supporting nurses in primary care facilities.
  • Read more…
  • Zero Data
  • Zero-rating mobile data services of Public Benefit Organisations

  • The poorest children have least access to digital learning - and yet we are currently zero-rating mobile content that only wealthy children can use!
  • Read more…
  • Radio
  • Daily programming on SABC radio stations

  • Much of the communication around the epidemic is being directed towards digital communication, effectively reaching the middle class, however, half of the population do not have Smartphones. Radio remains the most powerful medium to reach people, with 90% reach.
  • Read more…
  • Food Vouchers
  • Digital food vouchers for social relief of distress

  • South Africa will likely see a spike in acute malnutrition in the next few months – one that will impact how children grow physically and intellectually. Digital vouchers sent via cellphone provide a way to provide social relief of distress without the costs and infection risk associated with the distribution of food parcels.
  • Read more…
  • Advocacy for alcohol policy change
  • Advocacy for alcohol policy change

  • The Covid-19 epidemic has highlighted the value of each human life. The extent of alcohol abuse and its link with violent crime, especially against women and children, is without equal in Africa and should be a source of deep shame to all South Africans. Together with organisations such as the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), we are promoting the World Health Organisation’s five best-buys for alcohol harms reductions as urgent and effective policy measures to curb the abuse of alcohol in South Africa.
  • Read more…
  • What we've learned
  • What we've learned

  • It was a bit like waiting for a hurricane, except that we knew that it would definitely make landfall. So we battened down the hatches and waited in the eerie calm until the COVID-19 storm hit. As a South African foundation, the DG Murray Trust (DGMT) quickly pivoted its work to key areas which we felt might be neglected in the national response, and approached the Solidarity Fund, other donors and NGOs and commercial companies to support these efforts...
  • Read more…

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:

POST COVID-19 PRIORITIES

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.