South Africa introduces special 6-month coronavirus grant for the unemployed
London, April 22, 2020 (AltAfrica)-South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a special 6-month coronavirus grant for the unemployed in the country as part of government’s R500 billion economic and social support package to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Poverty and food insecurity have deepened dramatically in the course of just a few weeks.To reach the most vulnerable families in the country, we have decided on a temporary 6-month coronavirus grant,” Ramaphosa said in a nationwide broadcast on Tuesday night
“We will direct R50 billion towards relieving the plight of those who are most desperately affected by the coronavirus.”
A priority was to provide relief for hunger and social distress which have deepened dramatically in communities countrywide as a result of lockdown.
Measures include an increase in child support grants of R300 next month and R500 a month from June to October and all other grant beneficiaries will receive an additional R250 a month.
A special coronavirus grant of R350 a month will go to those who are unemployed and do not receive any other form of grant or UIF payment.
The Department of Social Development will issue the requirements needed to access and apply for this funding, the president said.
He said government recognised that its capacity for food distribution had not met the huge demand in recent weeks, and the Department of Social Development working with NGOs and community organisations would distribute 250 000 food parcels in the next fortnight.
“We have recognised that the food distribution capacity of government is not adequate to meet the huge need that has arisen since the start of the epidemic. The South African Social Security Agency – Sassa – will within days implement a technology-based solution to roll out food assistance at scale through vouchers and cash transfers to ensure that help reaches those who need it faster and more efficiently.
“In addition, to fill the immediate need, 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.
“We are deeply disturbed by reports of unscrupulous people abusing the distribution of food and other assistance for corrupt ends. We will not hesitate to ensure that those involved in such activities face the full might of the law,” Ramaphosa said.