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Government re-introduces Social Relief Grant

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During his State of the Nation Address President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed the return of the discontinued R350 grant, the President announced the grant will be made available until March 2022,” We are reinstating the R350 grant.

This will provide a monthly payment for applicants. This has been made possible by the slight improvement we have seen in our revenue collection.” President outlined. Unemployed caregivers, who receive child support grant can also apply.

In addition to the food relief grant provided for by the Department of Social Development, the government will contribute an amount of R400 million to the Humanitarian Crisis Relief Fund that was created by the Solidarity Fund to assist communities affected by the recent unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Following the President’s address, The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) took to the podium to put on record that the party is suspicious of the Covid-19 grant extension “The EFF has long called for a Basic Income Grant, and to confine the extension to the election period seems to be another food parcel programme of the ruling party implemented by the state. The grant must be made a permanent reality, and the amount increased to a respectable amount which will have a meaningful impact.” CIC mentioned.

Ramaphosa added that there had been additional changes to the grant eligibility, for instance the expansion of the grant to unemployed caregivers, he also said the government is busy implementing several measures to ease the cash flow of businesses by deferring for a short period the payment of a percentage of PAYE taxes and to help businesses who were affected by the recent civil unrest and Covid-19.

During a NCOP virtual sitting, Minister for Small Business Development outlined the Department’s 2.3 billion for the 2021 financial year to assist businesses who were hit hard by riots and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. On Wednesday treasury announced that it would raise R36 billion for the package through tax collections.

The Department of Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said the fund is likely to grow as they were engaging with big businesses some who had already pledged an amount of R50 million.” A package has been put together now where the department of Trade Industry and Competition and the Department of Small Businesses Development has reprioritized R1 billion of funding from other programs that will be shifted now to this response fund. This has been supplemented by the R1.3 billion National Treasury will make available.” The minister explained.

Some owners of small businesses raised their concerns as to how that money will get to them should they not be in compliance with SASRIA.

Vusi Thembekwayo who is the founder and CEO of MyGrowthFund shared his concerns on virtual interview about the support package, “I think the plea to government would be to help the businesses that were affected by, not the businesses that are complaint. Because if they do that, I would guarantee you that would almost certainly destroy 50 percent of the businesses that were affected by these lootings.”

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