Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: Linda Mthombeni
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: Linda Mthombeni

Zulu defends Covid-19 payments

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: Linda Mthombeni

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says her department has risen to the challenge to defend South Africans against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering her executive statement to the hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday Zulu said the government directed R50 billion of the R500bn social relief and economic stimulus package.

"As expected social development rose to the challenge to defend South African against the Covid-19 pandemic through the administration of social relief stimulus package," Zulu said.

She also said R40bn was allocated to boost the social development sector response to the pandemic.

A further R95m was allocated from the criminal assets recovery account to strengthen services for combating gender-based violence and femicide.

Zulu called on non-governmental organisations allocated funds to make sure the money reached those it was intended for.

She also said 1.2m food parcels were allocated to households.

The minister added that they have employed additional 1 800 social worker graduates.

"The numbers are not adequate. We will ensure there is an increase," she said.

Zulu also said the Free State province has extended the contracts of the social worker graduates by another nine months.

"It is exploring ways of absorbing them into permanent employment. Other provincial departments are exploring similar options," she said, adding that the need for social workers was very important.

Zulu said the GBV command centre call centre received 76 000 calls and 13 000 homeless people were provided with accommodation and other support in 177 shelters.

She also said five million people of the 7.8m who applied for unemployment relief grants have been paid.

"This number represents those that were found to be eligible and whose information has been verified by various databases," Zulu added.

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