R350 Grant For Unemployed Now Extends its Reach to Caregivers
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the return of the unemployed relief grant in his speech last Sunday. The R350 grant is announced to resume on a date that will still be communicated up until March 2022.
The Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, which is geared towards unemployed individuals, has been brought back and is going to be extended to caregivers who receive the child support grant.
Previously, caregivers or anyone who gets a child support grant were not eligible to qualify for the SRD grant. The President then announced that the improvements made in the collection of revenue will be used to fund the grant.
Civil society organisations weighed in with mixed reactions. Eventhough they support the initiative, some think it's not enough.
The Director of Institute for Economic Justice, Gilad Isaacs, says the government didn’t go all the way in reaching those who need support through this grant.
Issacs shared that some caregivers who live under the poverty line have been left out, and that government only focused on the unemployed people who receive child support grants.
She also rejects the monthly reapplication for the R350 grant, saying the fund is only temporary, therefore application processes should not be made complicated.
Another objection is the details of where the money will come which Isaacs says is not clear. Government has only said that it will be coming from the collected revenue and she says that’s not transparent enough.
The grant expired in May last year with more than R16 billion paid to 6.5 million unemployed recipients. The extension from the government aims at uplifting the poor in the time of distress.
The country has recently experienced looting of business and the government believes that part motivation might be poverty.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to announce the dates for the implementation of the SRD grant while the civil society welcomes the initiative to extend the reach of recipients but says it could be better.
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