For the next seven months, South Africa’s R350 monthly temporary assistance for unemployed people will cost the fiscus R27 billion.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni unveiled the specifics of the Social Relief of Distress Grant, which has been extended until March 2022.
Mboweni was building on a slew of initiatives proposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday to aid the economy’s revival and help the disadvantaged.
This respite, according to Ramaphosa, was made possible by a minor improvement in the country’s income collection.
In 2020, the government started paying an R350 monthly grant to qualify unemployed South Africans as the economy was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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“This R350 no matter how small it might be goes a long way in assisting our people,” Mboweni said.
“It will cost R27 billion, which we must find elsewhere in the system.”
Dondo Mogajane, director-general of the Treasury, said an R36 billion package was ready to provide financial assistance to all sectors of society.
“We’re not going to take out a loan.” Mogajane stated, “I want to emphasize that the package would not increase our borrowing requirement.”
The economic impacts of the Covid-9 pandemic, according to Mboweni, were exacerbated by recent social instability in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
He went on to say that the damage caused by recent looting and devastation cost the eThekwini Municipality alone R15 billion.
According to Mboweni, this did not add to the economy’s positive value, which was predicted to rebound 4.2 percent after declining by 7% in 2020.
Mboweni stated, “The impact of the constraints imposed by Covid-19 has had major negative ramifications for the economy.”
“According to the National Treasury, we will only return to pre-Covid levels in 2023.”