POLL | Should government continue Covid-19 relief grants?

06 October 2020 - 06:29
SA Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande says the R350 grant has been a lifeline for millions of South Africans.
SA Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande says the R350 grant has been a lifeline for millions of South Africans.
Image: Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS

It remains to be seen whether the government will convert the Covid-19 social relief of distress grant (SRDG) into a “universal basic income guarantee” after calls by SACP president Blade Nzimande on Sunday.

Nzimande, addressing the virtual launch of the party’s Red October campaign, said the grant, though “small”, is a lifeline for millions of South Africans and would worsen the plight of the poor should it be allowed to expire at the end of October.

“The special Covid-19 social relief of distress grant of R350 per month has offered a survival lifeline to millions. But that grant is now due to expire at the end of this month. We cannot allow this to happen,” he said.

He said the unemployment of 2.2m more South Africans will worsen the plight of the poor, leaving many unable to provide for their basic needs.

“Without this small but desperately needed lifeline, many households will fall into deeper distress. The SACP calls for a basic income guarantee that is universal, in other words, that is not means tested to avoid costly administrative overheads,” he said.  

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