President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on July 25. Photo: Supplied/GCIS/Elmond Jiyane
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on July 25. Photo: Supplied/GCIS/Elmond Jiyane

Ramaphosa announces a string of social relief measures

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jul 25, 2021

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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a string of social relief measures to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of the unrest earlier this month.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday night.

He announced the return of the R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant, which will run until March 2022. The grant ended earlier this year, and civil society organisations have called for its reinstatement.

The grant will now not only be open to the unemployed, but also to caregivers who receive other social grants.

He said in addition to the food relief provided by the Department of Social Development, the government would put R400 million towards the humanitarian fund.

In his last address, the president had indicated that the Unemployment Insurance Fund would begin paying out Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme applicants who have been affected by the lockdown.

Ramaphosa also announced other measures to assist businesses that were impacted by the unrest that gripped Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal more than a week ago.

He said the security forces were still investigating the cause of the unrest.

The president said it was crucial that businesses that were looted and damaged were able to re-open as quickly as possible.

He said businesses that were insured would be allowed to claim from the South African Special Risk Insurance Association.

The government would also assist businesses that were not insured, such as small and medium-sized businesses. It will shift funding through a once-off survival mechanism fund.

Ramaphosa said the government would also extend the employment tax incentive for three months, with the purpose of encouraging employers to hire and retain employees.

Political Bureau

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