Petition calls for Ramaphosa to extend and increase R350 social grant to ‘at least R585’

14 April 2021 - 14:30 By unathi nkanjeni
Many have signed a petition calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Tito Mboweni and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu to extend and increase the social relief of distress grant. File photo.
Many have signed a petition calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Tito Mboweni and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu to extend and increase the social relief of distress grant. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has joined many calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Tito Mboweni and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu to extend and increase the social relief of distress (SRD) grant.

The R350 grant, announced by Ramaphosa last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, was meant for unemployed citizens and qualifying foreign citizens during unprecedented times.

Earlier this year it was allocated R2.1bn by the National Treasury to extend the grant until the end of the month.

Lending her voice to the call for an increase and extension, Madonsela urged many to sign a petition calling for Ramaphosa to extend and increase the grant until it is turned into basic income support.

“If we don’t act, this grant could come to an end,” she said.

The petition is calling for the grant to be increased to at least R585 per month. It has so far garnered more than 600 signatures out of the goal of 800.

“The president, minister of finance and minister of social development have the power to not only extend the grant but increase it to at least R585 per month, expand the grant to include caregivers, and keep it in place until it is converted into long-overdue basic income support,” reads the petition.

“Millions of our people live in fear of the SRD grant not being renewed. This is unacceptable.”

In February, the Black Sash called for the R350 grant to be extended until the end of the financial year.

The human rights organisation said the grant was inadequate and an adjustment to the food poverty line, now at R585, would be adequate.

“While we note the second three-month extension of the Covid-19 SRD grant, government must immediately adjust the eligibility criteria to include adult women who are unemployed and who receive a child support grant on behalf of children,” said the Black Sash.


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