Covid-19: Ramaphosa announces grant increases, relief measures

Covid-19: Ramaphosa announces grant increases, relief measures

- President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africans on Tuesday evening

- The challenges of keeping the nation under lockdown have been increasing almost daily

- Between food shortages and civil unrest, Ramaphosa shed light on the way forward amid these difficult times

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a R500 billion social and economic support package, amounting to around 10% of South Africa's GDP.

An economic strategy will be implemented to drive the economy as the nation emerges from the pandemic, including substantial infrastructure plans and other interventions.

After meeting with numerous stakeholders, Ramaphosa announced an 'extraordinary' support budget for healthcare in light of the pandemic.

R130 billion will be diverted to help support to effort to fight the virus, with other funding sources to aid SA to overcome.

Protective gear for health workers and an increase in the number of hospital beds and ventilators will be a priority.

Citizens who receive SASSA child support grants will now be receiving an additional R300 in May as well as an additional R500 each month until October.

Other grant beneficiaries will be receiving an additional R250 a month over the course of the next 6 months.

Citizens who are unemployed and aren't receiving any other social grants will also be able to apply for a R350 monthly grant for the next six months as part of a specialised Covid-19 response.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Mkhize confirms 3 465 cases, EC spike blamed on funerals

Vouchers and cash transfers will be implemented to ensure the vulnerable are able to access help during this trying time. Food parcels will be distributed by the Solidarity Fund in the coming days.

Businesses will be bolstered by the government in an attempt to limit the loss of jobs, with the tax threshold increased to help relieve some pressure.

The reopening of the economy will be taking place in a phased approached, with the need to limit the spread of the virus and the need for people to return to work balanced.

"We will follow a phased approach. As we do so, we remain firm in our resolve to contain the virus. We will need to act with flexibility in the weeks and months ahead."

Ramaphosa committed to addressing the nation again on Thursday, commenting that.

"Our country and the world we live in will never be the same again. We are resolved not merely to return our economy to where it was before the virus, but to forge a new economy in a new world environment."

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