‘Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address was bold and transparent’

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Economists have largely welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), calling it bold and transparent.

Ramaphosa delivered his sixth state of the nation address last night at the Cape Town City Hall.

His speech gave reassurance regarding economic transformation, government’s fight against corruption, health achievements and immigration policies.

Citi Group Economist, Gina Schoeman says, “He affirmed all of his reform initiatives, however we have had all of this before and its time for action. One thing that really stands out however is offcourse the extension of the Social Relief of Distress grant, known as the COVID-19 Grant for the next 12 months  – the R 350. This is an introductory stage for a basic income support in South Africa and we will have to see a year from now how government comes up with a plan to provide basic income support but critically how they can find a sustainable way to fund it.”

Social Relief of Distress grant

Social Security Researcher at the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, Nkululeko Majozi says he is happy that the president has extended the Social Relief Distress Grant, however he is unhappy that the value of the grant has not been increased.

He says, “The R350 grant is only 56% of the food poverty line of R624, which means it cannot as it stands allow people to spend on the basic food necessities.”

Below is Majozi’s full interview: