Civil society organisation, Black Sash, says it has provided a proposal to government in hopes to continue the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant.
Several organisations have made another appeal for government to also increase the Social Security Agency’s monthly R350 grant which was paid out to millions of people during the pandemic.
Black Sash and other civil society groups met with President Cyril Ramaphosa last week on the matter.
National Director of Black Sash, Rachel Bukasa, says “We really hope for this because I really think the meeting that took place on the 18th was the first time we solidified civil society and government on the same side – which is the side of the SA people. Essentially, one of the proposals that we had made at the meeting was that the president set up a panel to look at the research that we have done and consider the existing research and financing of the data. So, we think it is not enough for government to just say that we can’t afford it but actually appoint this panel and look at the research and see how it can be worked out.”
Grant amount not enough
In July last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the R350 grant would also be extended to unemployed caregivers who receive child support grants.
Black Sash has been advocating for the urgent implementation of a basic income grant of at least R1 200 for ages 18 to 59 years.
The organisation raised concerns over the amount of the grant.
Spokesperson Esley Philander said: “We are pleased that the grants eligibility criteria have now been expanded to include unemployed caregivers who received the child support grant on behalf of children. It is concerning though that the grant was not increased to at least the food poverty line which is currently R585.”
In the report below from December last year, an expert panel recommends that SA continues paying for COVID-19 relief grant: