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In an interview with eNCA, Andile Ramaphosa addresses the controversy over a project which equipped taxis with protective gear to fight the spread of Covid-19…

Twitter users accused him of benefitting from the pandemic, and receiving a R6m “tender” because he is the President’s son.

Ramaphosa said this was absolutely NOT the case.

“There was NO government involvement,” he said. “The project was privately funded by FNB and Bridge Taxi finance who will come out with statements as well.”

He emphasised that the project was spearheaded by South African citizens to help in the war against the coronavirus pandemic.

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“It’s imperative that we all get involved,” said Ramaphosa. “We all have friends and relatives who are getting sick or have even passed away. This was our way of saying we want to get involved and contribute as businessman and private citizens. There was no government tender, nothing.

READ MORE: Andile Ramaphosa trends over R6m “tender” – But it’s not what you think 

How did the project come about?

Ramaphosa said that when it became clear that Covid-19 was a ‘mobile virus’, he and his partners focussed their fight on the transport sector. He said that the lockdown had helped curb the spread of the virus due to the fact that people stayed home. However, the economy needed to open up, and so people were forced to travel to work, and use public transport.

“The way to deal with it [the virus] is through the transport sector,” said Ramaphosa.

“We looked at interventions that could stop the spread of the virus cheaply and effectively, that can be sponsored by business, meaning we don’t have to wait for government. That’s how we started with #SafePassages.”