CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation yet again on Tuesday providing an inspirational commitment to South Africans and the country’s embarkment to a new economy.
His speech detailed the second phase of the government’s economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic with R500 billion to be directed towards social relief and economic support packages – increasing social grants.
Who qualifies for these grants? How much is it? And how do you access it?
South Africa’s economic response
The economic response is split into three phases; phase one was implemented in mid-March when South Africa declared a national disaster. While the third phase will be focussed on the recovery of the economy as the country emerges from this pandemic.
The second phase – relief of hunger and social distress
Ramaphosa drew our focus to the protection of income for workers within the formal economy and support to small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs). However, the need for support of millions of South Africans within the informal economy and those without employment. And the subsequent poverty and food insecurity which has deepened since the lockdown.
Ramaphosa said R50bn, of that R500bn, will be directed towards a temporary 6-month Coronavirus grant.
These include an increase in all grants from May for six months as well as the creation of a special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant. The requirements for the latter has not been issued yet and will be provided by the Department of Social Development (DSD)
In addition, a distribution of food vouchers and cash transfers to the vulnerable that will be implemented by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
The DSD will partner with the Solidarity Fund, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations in the distribution of 250 000 food parcels in the next two weeks.
The grant breakdown
Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress
The unemployed will receive a R350 social relief payment.
- Traditionally, the Social Relief of Distress is a temporary grant for those in desperate need to provide basic needs for themselves and their families and may come as a food parcel or voucher. And in the instance of the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress, a cash payment.
- This special grant is usually for three months only, or an extension is granted in special cases for an additional three months. Which is the case in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- You need to be a South African citizen and living in South Africa when applying for the grant.
- You need to provide proof of your financial crisis and how your family cannot meet its basic needs. Involving information of your marital status, income and assets and any other supporting reasons for your crisis
- The DSD will also amend Regulation 14 to Social Assistance Act in order to adhere to physical distancing regulations, where applications do not have to be submitted in person.
The above are general criteria for a Social Relief of Distress grant, the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grants requirements and measures to apply has not been outlined yet.
Child Support Grants
- As of April 1, the child support grants increased to R440 per child.
- From May 2020, beneficiaries will receive an additional R300 to this amount
- From June to October 2020, an additional R500 will be added to this amount
Over the next six months, starting in May, all other grants will be increased by an additional R250 per month.
The increase in grants from April 1 include:
- Grants for older persons and disability grants increase to R1 860
- Grants for war veterans and older persons older than 75 years increase to R1 880
- Foster child grants increase to R1 040 per child
- Care dependency grants increase to R1 860
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor