Govt considers replacing R350 COVID grant with another form of relief

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said the special relief of distress grant could be replaced by another similar measure.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana being sworn in on 6 August 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance minister Enoch Godongwana said government was considering replacing the R350 COVID-19 grant with another form of relief but added it would all depend on affordability.

Godongwana was answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The finance minister said the special relief of distress grant could be replaced by another similar measure.

READ: Sassa: Nearly 11.5m beneficiaries accepted for R350 grant

He said this was aimed at trying to reduce the poverty gap: “The National Treasury is working with the Presidency, the Department of Social Development and other partners to consider various options for reducing the national poverty gap. This includes considering what might replace the R350 social relief of distress grant. However, all options also need to be considered with respect to their affordability."

Godongwana has also denied assertions by the Economic Freedom Fighters that his department was implementing austerity measures.

“If we're working with a government which has support policy which is austerity, we would not be having R100 billion over the NTF on infrastructure,” he said.

He said Stats SA would be able to give more accurate figures on the cost of damage to the economy caused by the July unrest.

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