On Tuesday the 21st of April, President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on expanded COVID-19 economic and social relief – meaning that he spoke to us about how the government is going to help those people, groups, organisations, and businesses who are struggling during this time of lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic.

In his speech, the President announced a huge amount of money – R500 billion – that will be used in many ways, but mainly in the following:

  • A large health budget to respond to COVID-19,
  • To relieve hunger and social needs,
  • To support for companies and workers that are struggling,
  • To help the economy to re-open step-by-step.

President Ramaphosa also announced that child support grants will be increased by R300 in May and R500 from June to October. All other people who receive grants will get an extra R250 per month for the next six months. There is also a special COVID-19 Special Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next six months for people who are unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment.

The South African Social Security Agency – SASSA – will roll out food vouchers that will aid those in desperate need of food and the Department of Social Development has partnered with many organisations to distribute 250,000 food parcels across the country over the next two weeks.

He has also said that with the roll out of all these measures, “we are determined to ensure that women, youth and persons with disability receive particular attention and support”. However, he did not explain this further.

The President will hold another address this evening the 23rd of April 2020 to give more information about how the government is dealing with the pandemic and to give us more details on the lockdown and the way forward.

For the full speech from Tuesday 21st of April 2020, click here.

Pic Credit: timeslive.co.za