In his address on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a temporary 6-month increase in social grants as part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An additional R50 billion will be directed to those who are most desperately affected by the virus. As a way to reach the most vulnerable families in the country, a temporary 6-month Coronavirus grant will be added to existing social grants.
- Child grant beneficiaries receive an increase of R300 for May and from June to October an increase of R500 per month.
- All other grant beneficiaries receive an increase of R250 per month for the next 6 months.
- A COVID-19 Social Relief Distress grant of R350 per month for the next 6 months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive another form of a social grant or UIF payment.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will within days start to roll out food assistance in the form of vouchers and cash transfers.
“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 2 weeks.”
An extraordinary coronavirus budget of R500 billion have been announced to direct resources towards fighting the pandemic. This also included “the reprioritisation of approximately R130 billion within the current budget.”
The rest of the funding will come from local sources, such as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), global partners and international finance institutions including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, BRICS New Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
Ramaphosa says, “the pandemic requires an economic and social response that is equal to the scale of the disruption it is causing.”