Sona Debate: Julius Malema Slams R350 Grant Extension, Says Dependence on Grants Doesnt Eliminate Poverty

Sona Debate: Julius Malema Slams R350 Grant Extension, Says Dependence on Grants Doesnt Eliminate Poverty

  • EFF leader Julius Malema has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for extending the R350 social relief of distress grant
  • Malema spoke while debating Ramaphosa's Sona along with other opposition parties at Cape Town City Hall
  • The EFF leader said government has failed to eradicate poverty through the social assistance system

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CAPE TOWN - The extension of the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant has left a sour taste in Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema's mouth.

Julius Malema slammed the extension of the R350 SRD grant
EFF leader Julius Malema says the R350 SRD grant would not eradicate South African poverty. Image: Brenton Geach & Naashon Zalk
Source: Getty Images

The EFF leader expressed his displeasure with Ramaphosa adding another year to the roll-out of the grant that originated in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malema said that the fact that almost 20 million South Africans depend on social grants to survive should not be celebrated, given that grants do not eradicate poverty, TimesLIVE reported.

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Malema was at Cape Town City Hall debating the State of the Nation Address (Sona) President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered on Tuesday, 9 January.

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Malema says job creation is the only way to uplift South Africans out of poverty

During the debate, the Red Berets leader poked holes in the social grant system, claiming that government has provided social assistance since 1994 but has failed to make a dent in poverty.

Without job creation, Malema said, government will perpetually fail to uplift South Africans from economic destitution, SowetanLIVE reported.

Malema also took exception to the amount of the SRD grant. The opposition party leader said that nobody can survive on R350 or R450 per month, especially with the ever-rising cost of living.

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He called for the amount paid out to recipients to be increased but cautioned against implementing the SRD grant as a permanent solution.

South Africans echo Malema's call for job creation

South Africans are entirely behind Malema and believe that the nation needs job creation more than it needs social grants.

Below are some comments:

@TaureanGoddess_ demanded:

"These grants should be scrapped. Give the people jobs."

@Zu23 added:

"Great. If his party and the ANC can control their klepto hands, we could probably double the social grants."

@Presley_phoebie reiterated:

"Why do we have grants in SA. We need jobs. Not grants."

Chris De Wet said:

"It will be much better for him to create jobs for the people. Even the scale according to minimum wage worker should then earn more than the social grant."

Sabina Motlatso exclaimed

“Speaking on behalf of myself, I don’t need the R350, I need a job, any job for that matter.”

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Elekanyani Mauba claimed:

"Definitely, no one can survive on that. However, without increasing our tax base, it will be difficult to afford what he is proposing as noble as his suggestions are."

Sona debate: ANC jumps to Cyril Ramaphosa’s defence as opposition parties call for president’s resignation

Earlier, Briefly News reported that opposition parties didn't pull any punches when they remarked on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, 14 January.

The parties took turns stepping up to the Cape Town City Hall podium to criticise Ramaphosa's leadership and even call for him to step down.

African National Congress members weren't having any of it and quickly came to the defence of their commander-in-chief.

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Source: Briefly News

Lerato Mutsila avatar

Lerato Mutsila (Current affairs editor) Lerato Mutsila is a journalist with 3 years of experience. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pearson Institute of Higher Education in 2020, majoring in broadcast journalism, political science and communication. Lerato joined the Briefly News current affairs desk in August 2022. Mutsila is also a fellow of the 2021/2022 Young African Journalists Acceleration programme, which trained African journalists in climate journalism. You can contact Lerato at

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