‘ANC aims to tackle high cost of living in the next five years’

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ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC will in the next five years focus on tackling the high cost of living. Ramaphosa was speaking at theparty’s manifesto launch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, where he delivered the ANC’s six key areas that the party would focus on if elected to government in the May 29th general elections.

The ANC president says the party will prioritize food security and VAT exemption as a measure to cushion the poor from the difficult economic circumstances.

“Yes, we will be focusing on the cost of living. We will take steps to make everyday life more affordable for workers, the unemployed and yes, the middle class as well (the people) who are currently suffering under the burden of high interest rates. Yes, people are finding that food costs more, (as well as) housing and healthcare and energy. We will prioritize food security including vat exemption.”

Ramaphosa has promised to create at least two and a half million work opportunities in the next five years focusing on young people.

He also vowed to steadily increase the R350 Social Relief and Distress Grant grant for unemployed people.

This comes at a time when South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to over 32% in the last quarter.

Five years ago, when he promised to create around 275 000 jobs a year, the unemployment rate was just less than 30%. But Ramaphosa remains upbeat that this is possible.

“There is no shortage of work to be done to make SA a better place. In every community and village, our people are ready to work and through public and social employment program we can create jobs. Over the next five years, the ANC will implement a jobs plan with a first pillar being a massified public employment plan by creating and sustaining 2,5 million work opportunities.”

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Meanwhile, Ramaphosa says government is considering ways to make the R350 SRD permanent as well as to increase the grant.

He says despite mounting criticism against the SRD grant, government hopes to help more people.

“We will tackle the high cost of living which has gone up. We will income support through existing social grants and we will utilize the R350 grand as a mechanism towards phasing in basis income support.”

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