Civil society groups to protest for extension of COVID-19 grant

There will be #PayTheGrants pickets in various provinces at Sassa offices and at post offices.

A South African Social Security Agency office in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Demonstrations will be held across the country on Friday calling on government to extend the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant.

There will be #PayTheGrants pickets in various provinces at Sassa offices and at post offices.

On Thursday, the Black Sash held a webinar with faith-based organisations, trade unions and civic groups about the issue.

The R350 grant comes to an end on Friday.

Myrtle Witbooi from the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union said that many were still battling.

She said that they'd learnt that 250,000 domestic workers lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Only 57,000 have benefits from the unemployment fund and out of every 100 domestic workers, only five has got has access to the social grant. This grant must be extended."

Women on Farms director, Colette Solomon, said that they'd seen a real-life impact with farmworkers receiving the grant, as people used the money to feed their families.

She said that the majority of women farmworkers were seasonally employed.

"I think the most important impact is the fact that it increased their financial independence - they were able to feed their families a nutritious meal."

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