President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed his plans to extend and expand the Social Relief of Distress R350 grant. The grant run by The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is currently supporting around 10 million South Africans. The President, however, wants to reach even more people.
How will the R350 grant change?
During the ANC’s latest meeting, President Ramaphosa assessed the SASSA situation and the number of applicants. Record numbers of beneficiaries have been brought into the welfare system by the R350 grant. And according to Ramaphosa, ending the grant in March 2022 could have “devastating consequences”.
Therefore, it is Ramaphosa’s plan to ensure that the poorest South African citizens have better support structures to lean on in the future. The president also spoke about the possible introduction of a Basic Income Grant. The idea behind this grant is that it would give every eligible South African a sum of money to buy essentials and necessities.
“There continues to be significant demand on the government to expand income support measures for those living in poverty. All South Africans should be able to live with dignity, and subject to long-term affordability, serious considerations should be given to more measures that will help support the unemployed.”
“Those who are structurally marginalised could possibly see an extension of the R350 grant, targeted food poverty line support, or even the introduction of a Basic Income Grant. We need a combination of all this, with more employment.”
It seems the President is adamant to do what it takes to make the R350 grant a more permanent fixture. This will be the main focus for now whilst the ANC continues to work on a plan to fund a comprehensive Basic Income Grant programme.