Black Sash backs call for R350 COVID-19 grant to be extended

Advocacy group, the Black Sash, wants the COVID-19 social relief grant to be extended until the basic income grant is in place and its value to be increased.

FILE: Senior citizens queuing for their monthly social grants at the South African Post Office at the Gold Sport shopping centre in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni on 4 May 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Advocacy group, the Black Sash, wants the COVID-19 social relief grant to be extended until the basic income grant is in place and its value to be increased.

This is in support of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who called for the implementation of basic income grants during a mini-plenary debate in the National Assembly just over a week ago.

The R350 COVID-19 relief grants are due to expire in just less than two weeks.

The programme was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last year in an effort to assist the vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Ramaphosa announced that the R350 COVID-19 social relief grant would be paid for the last time next month.

However, there have been calls from other sectors of the public for the package to be extended to a basic income grant.

Just over a week ago, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu called for the speedy implementation of the programme.

This has received overwhelming support, including from the Black Sash, as advocacy manager, Esley Hooder explains: "The Black Sash urges the department to finalise the necessary policy and implementation instruments as well as the budget to ensure phased-in implementation by 1 April 2022."

The call is being made at a time when the country’s unemployment levels have worsened considerably, with more than 11 million South Africans without jobs.

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