SONA 2021: UIF Ters, R350 social grant schemes extended
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the extension of the R350 special Covid-19 relief grant and the UIF Ters payment scheme.
The extension of the special Covid-19 grant, which ended at the end of January, will be for three months.
The Covdi-19 UIF Ters scheme will be extended until March 15 and will only be for sectors that have been unable to operate because of lockdown regulations, Ramaphosa said.
The extension of these two critical welfare schemes had been long-awaited and the labour sector had been pressuring the government over the UIF Ters scheme at Nedlac. Civil society groups have also been lobbying for the extension of the special Covid-19 grant scheme.
Ramaphosa said as the country aimed to rebuild the economy it was important that those most affected by the economic impact should be supported.
“As we rebuild our economy in the midst of a pandemic, it is necessary that we continue – within our means – to provide support to those businesses and individuals that continue to be most affected. Businesses in several sectors are still struggling and many families continue to suffer as the job market slowly recovers,” he said.
“This (Covid-19 special grant) has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans. The conditions of this extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at Nedlac,” Ramaphosa said.
The president said the National Treasury was also in talks to “improve to the loan guarantee scheme so that it better addresses the realities of SMMEs and other businesses as they strive to recover.