Covid-19 unlocks R500bn for South Africans

The R500bn amounts to about 10% of our GDP, said President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa.

As the nation-wide Covid-19 lockdown is still in operation, the windfall will try and ease the pain experienced by all from grants increase, visible food parcels to tax relief for companies, especially the small medium operations.

The social welfare and economic support package comes as a relief to many, as announced by the President on Tuesday evening. The much awaited nation address did not mention anything related to liquor and tobacco- so the ban still stands.

Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 next month and from June to October and will receive an additional R500.

A R350 a month for the next six months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and who do not receive any other form of socIal grant or Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months, said Ramaphosa.

“To reach the most vulnerable families in our country, we have decided on a temporary six-month coronavirus grant. We will direct R50bn towards relieving the plight of those who are most desperately affected by the coronavirus.”

“While we have put in place measures to protect the wages of workers in the formal economy and have extended support in small, medium and micro-sized businesses, millions of South Africans in the informal economy and those without employment are struggling to survive,” he said.

The R130bn would be sourced and reprioritised from the current budget while additional funds would be sourced from UIF and other global funders including the IMF and Brics Bank, among others, and the reprioritised budget of R50bn will go towards assisting desperate South Africans who have been negatively affected by the coronavirus, while R20bn goes towards municipalities and the health sector at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.

A R100bn and R200bn will be reserved for protection and creation of jobs as well as a loan guarantee scheme, respectively.

“Central to the economic recovery strategy will be the measures we will embark upon to stimulate demand and supply through interventions such as substantial infrastructure build programme, the speedy implementation of economic reforms, the transformation of our economy and embarking on all other steps that will ignite inclusive growth in our economy. We will outline this in the days to come.”

There will be a phased approach towards reopening the economy after the lockdown, says Ramaphosa.

On Thursday the President will address the nation once again and the hope too many, yours included, is the lifting of the lockdown end of April.

As per the norm-some of the opposition parties, business organisations and civil society agreed with the speech and others did not.

Image (Pres Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa has allocated R500bn to South Africans in aid of Covid-19).

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