Good news on Covid-19 social relief grant
Cape Town – The government will continue to fund the R350 Covid-19 social relief grant, which has benefited around 6 million South Africans living in poverty, until the end of January next year.
However, the temporary increases in other grants will come to an end.
Highlighting that cash grants were paid to over 22 million people during the lockdown, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in tabling the medium-term budget policy statement in Parliament on Wednesday: ''To reach the poorest South African households, we expanded social protection.
’’Seven million people accessed the Temporary Employment Relief Scheme through the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant reached 6 million people.
’’The cabinet has decided to extend the Social Relief of Distress grant to the end of January 2021.
“Because this grant is so effective in reaching the unemployed, we propose to redirect R6.8 billion from the public employment programme allocation. The temporary increases in other grants will unfortunately have to come to an end.”
The medium-term budget policy statement said R1 billion was allocated for food relief and short-term social grant-based relief amounting to R48 billion would be allocated in 2020-21.
''During the year, more than 12 million new recipients received income protection. Implementation of the special grant shows the need for measures to cross-check applicants across databases, such as common social security registries,'' Mboweni said.
An amount of R12.6 billion is allocated for presidential employment interventions to address unemployment, especially as it affects the youth.
Old age, disability, war veterans, child support, foster child and care dependency beneficiaries will therefore no longer receive a top-up grant. The SA Social Security Agency said on Monday that from November, those grants will revert to pre-Covid-19 amounts.
Child support grant beneficiaries had received an extra R300 in May and R500 between June and October, while other grant beneficiaries were topped up with R250 for six months.