Cape Town — Deputy President Paul Mashatile says the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant may need to be reviewed as it is no longer in line with inflation.
Mashatile said this while delivering his inaugural annual address to the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.
He said the R350 SRD grant that was first disbursed during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has provided support to 8.4 million people and was extended until 2025 by Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, during his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, IOL reported.
Many unions, civil societies and political parties have proposed different amounts for a basic income grant, ranging from R650 to R1 400 but the universal agreement was that the R350 SRD was not enough
“While there is widespread support for this SRD grant, there are concerns that many deserving people are excluded from the grant and that the value of the SRD grant has not kept up with inflation. As the ANC government, we will tackle these exclusions and ensure that the value of the grant is reviewed,” said Mashatile.
Mashatile said the ANC government was strongly committed to the “stubborn challenge” of load shedding, which has affected economic growth in the country.
The Annual Address to the National Council of Provinces themed: “The Indispensable Urgency – Accelerating the provision of social services, safety & the advancement of economic reforms for economic recovery in the interest of the people.” https://t.co/JiygbnTqX4
— Paul Mashatile🇿🇦 (@PMashatile) December 5, 2023
He also believed the country was in a better place than it was at the start of South Africa’s transition to democracy, saying more households had access to water and electricity, TimesLIVE reported.
“Load-shedding has adversely affected the economy, overall quality of life and the safety and security of our citizens. To this end, the ANC-led government continues to implement the energy action plan to end load-shedding and achieve energy security,” he said.
“Our journey as a leading political party started back in 1994. We can unequivocally state that South Africa is in a much better place now than where it was 29 years ago.”
Mashatile received mixed responses for his comments and address, with ANC MP, Tshilidzi Munyai, welcoming the address but said load shedding remained an economic restraint.
Meanwhile, DA’s Allan Winde took a swipe at the ANC’s financial woes and believed the poor pay for the ANC’s failures while the EFF’s Mbulelo Magwala criticised the ruling party for failing to deliver on its promises to South Africans.
Compiled by Matthew Petersen