- President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the R350 social relief of distress grant will be distributed until March 2023
- Ramaphosa wants Government to find a sustainable solution to assist poor, unemployed people while not compromising service delivery
- Over 10 million South Africans have benefitted from the grant since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic
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CAPE TOWN - Last night (10 February), President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Cape Town's City Hall. During his address, Ramaphosa announced that the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant would be extended until March 2023.
“As much as it has had a substantial impact, we must recognise that we face extreme fiscal constraints. A fiscal crisis would hurt the poor most of all through the deterioration of the basic services on which they rely,” the president said.
The impact of the SRD grant
Ramaphosa said that he recently engaged in discussions with various stakeholders who informed him of the substantial benefits of the SRD grant. According to SABC News, more than 10 million South Africans have received assistance.
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The president added that the government want to eventually replace the grant with a sustainable option that does not take away from other departments' budgets. He said that the neediest demographics would be prioritised.
An example of an SRD success story, Ramaphosa said, is Thando Makhubu, who resides in Soweto and saved the R350 grant for seven months. Makhubu then used the savings to start an ice-cream store and employ four people.
Reactions to the SRD grant extension
"How would you survive on an R350 grant with the way things are becoming extremely expensive?"
"The president might as well make it permanent because most people don't have jobs, especially youth, then cut it when you get a permanent job."
"Job creation will replace this grant."
SONA 2022: Zwelinzima Vavi says Saftu will picket outside Cape Town City Hall
Speaking about SONA, Briefly News recently reported that Zwelinzima Vavi, the Secretary-General of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), said that the organisation would protest outside the State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Cape Town City Hall on 10 February.
During the SONA, President Cyril Ramaphosa will explain the government's plans for 2022, reflect on what has been done since last year's SONA and address socio-economic and political issues facing South Africa.
Vavi said that Saftu's reason for picketing outside SONA is that the federation feels that Ramaphosa did not fulfil his promises in his 2021 SONA speech and needs to be held accountable.
Source: Briefly News