While the non-permanent coronavirus social ease of distress grant of R350 to unemployed South Africans is accepted, the government should increase this amount to at least R1,000, human rights organization The Black Sash said.
The Black Sash made this statement responding to social relief measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to ease the effects of the coronavirus lockdown on people and households.
The organization said the plans, which involve an R250 increase of all grants and an R500 increase of the child support grant (CSG) for six months, was a great step to take.
“These top-ups will ensure that more than 18-million beneficiaries are not plunged into starvation and they will act as a buffer against the economic effects of the lockdown and pandemic,” the organization said.
It said the rollout of the non-permanent social relief of distress grant was a notable new involvement. It is understood that this adult grant should include parents who are unemployed, regardless of whether they are already getting the child support grant.
“The Black Sash urges the government to increase the amount of the grant from R350 to at least R1,000. The current amount of R350 is significantly less than the value of the food parcel distributed by the South African Social Security Agency, which ranges from R1,000 to R1,200,” it said.
The Black Sash said the rollout of the temporary coronavirus grant was the first right step to a permanent basic earning grant for those aged 18-59 years with little or no payment at all.
“Our government is slowly moving towards the progressive realization of social security.”