Last night, 21 April 2020, president Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation about a new economic relief package for South African individuals and businesses in light of the #Lockdown and impact of COVID 19 on the South African economy.
The South African Reserve Bank earlier this month predicted that there would be massive job losses to the tune of 300 000 as people are required to stay home and only businesses offering essential services and products being permitted to operate. Additionally the spread of COVID 19 is likely to increase as South Africa enters the winter season meaning the lockdown cannot simply be lifted all at once. The result of this and the prospects of an extended phasing out of the lockdown would result in devastating consequences for the majority if not all South Africans.
“This is a historic moment,” said the president. “We will not spare any effort or expense to protect our people from harm. We must do whatever it takes to recover from this human, social and economic crisis.”
“We will never be the same,” he said.
The president then went on to announce a R500 billion stimulus and relief package, equivalent to 10% of the GDP, which will be raised from resources redirected from the current budget and borrowing from local and international funders.
The president announced that #SASSA grants would increase. Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an increase of R250 up till the end of May and then a R500 increase till the end of July. Other grant beneficiaries will see an increase of R500 for the next 6 months.
Those who are unemployed and not eligible for social grants would be assisted by a new ‘Coronavirus Fund’ which will be administered in part by the Department of Trade and Industry who will identify these individuals. This fund will operate as a basic income of R350 to qualifying individuals.
Regarding food parcels, Ramaphosa noted the failures and complaints of corruption levelled at officials administrating the distribution of parcels. He also said that government would distribute a further 250 000 food parcels to those needing it.
Read below a summary of how the R500 billion will be allocated.