Civil society groups demand govt extend and increase R350 relief grant

Close to 80 organisations said the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant and the caregivers grant must be extended until the country had a comprehensive plan for guaranteed basic incomes.

FILE: Social distancing is enforced at a shopping centre where social grant recipients are collecting their payouts on 30 March 2020. Picture: @The_DSD/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Civil society organisations have demanded government extend and increase the R350 COVID-19 social relief of distress grant and the caregivers grant to R585 per month.

Close to 80 organisations said these must be extended until the country has a comprehensive plan for guaranteed basic incomes.

The organisations held an urgent press briefing on Monday.

The civil society organisations said now was not the time to cut back on social assistance.

Shaeera Kalla of the C19 People’s Coalition said the pandemic was far from over and South Africa was at risk of a second wave.

She said the grants should be extended until at least the end of the current financial year in March.

“All available information suggests that government has decided not to extend the grants at the end of October.

“Government’s decision to terminate the relief measures is both irresponsible and reprehensible given the socio-economic realities of our country.”

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has also added her voice to the #PayTheGrants movement, saying she supported the initiative.

“The lockdown cannot be ended overnight. The impact of the lockdown and the prevention of people from earning an income is going to be with us for quite some time.”

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