Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, has confirmed that SASSA will not be extending top ups for grants but that the Special Relief Distress Grant will indeed be extended until next year. Government has received calls from organisations to extend the grant top ups and to also have the R350 grant increased.
Mboweni said the following with regards to this decision made by Government:
We have expanded social protection during this pandemic, and six million people have got the R350 grant. We are extending this payment until the end of January 2021: This grant is effective in reaching the unemployed … Top-ups for other grants will have to come to an end, though.
The Minister announced that they will be proposing to redirect R6.8 billion towards this relief of distress.
Those who benefit from the Child Support Grant saw R300 being added to it in May and R500 extra from June until October and other grants saw a top up of R250 for six months but this will now stop as the grants go back to pre-Covid totals.
It was however earlier announced that temporary disability grants that lapsed in July, or were due to lapse between August – October 2020, have been extended until 31 December this year. Care dependency grants that were extended to October, or were due to lapse between November – December 2020, have been extended until 31 December this year.
The Covid-19 People’s Coalition has expressed its disappointment at the President’s decision to not extend top-up grants. The organisation feels that women will be disadvantaged the most as they are caregivers with households that depend on them.
It also argued that the grants have been very helpful for many families who were left without jobs because of Covid-19. The Coalition said the following:
If the government is to align its rhetoric to action that would seriously assist in supporting women, then the caregiver grant must be extended and increased immediately.
At the beginning of the outbreak and as Government announced their response to it, President Cyril Ramaphosa explained that R500 billion will be geared towards providing relief to South Africans during this time of distress.
Mboweni delivered the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament today where he outlined the fiscal framework of the current financial year and the proposed framework for the next three years.
To see the full Medium Term Budget, click here.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé