President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that government will extend and improve the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant as the next step towards income support for the unemployed.
Delivering the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the sixth administration at the Cape Town City Hall, the President said government introduced the special grant during the pandemic, which currently reaches some 9 million unemployed people every month.
Ramaphosa described the grant as an “investment” and said the social assistance was much needed.
“We have seen the benefits of this grant and will extend it and improve it as the next step towards income support for the unemployed.
“These grants and subsidies do much more than give people what they need to live. They are an investment in the future.
“Social assistance has been shown to increase school enrolment and attendance, lower drop-out rates, and improve the pass rate,” the President said.
Ramaphosa said the governing ANC’s policies had over the course of 30 years, lifted millions of people out of dire poverty.
“Today, fewer South Africans go hungry and fewer live in poverty. In 1993, South Africa faced a significant poverty challenge, with 71% of its population living in poverty. However, under the democratic government, there has been a consistent decline in these numbers,” said Ramaphosa