The President on Tuesday 21 April announced a massive social relief and economic support package of R500 billion (around 10% of South Africa’s GDP) to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Highlights include that:
- Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May and from June to October they will receive an additional R500 each month.
- All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months.
- A special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next 6 months for the unemployed who don’t receive any other social grant or UIF payment.
- SASSA will roll out food assistance at scale through vouchers and cash transfers
- The Department of Social Development has partnered with the Solidarity Fund, NGOs and community-based organisations to distribute 250 000 food parcels across the country over the next two weeks.
- Additional funding of R20 billion for municipalities for emergency water supply, increased sanitisation of public transport and facilities and providing food and shelter for the homeless.
These measures were part of the second phase in the government’s economic response to stabilise the economy, address the extreme decline in supply and demand and protect jobs, the President said in a speech broadcast across several television and radio stations..
“While the nationwide lockdown is having a devastating effect on our economy, it is nothing compared to the catastrophic human, social and economic cost if the coronavirus could spread among our people unchecked,” president Cyril Rampahosa said in his address to the nation Tuesday 21 April.
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