After SRD R350 Grant, What Next?
After the ravaging effect of the CORONA virus on the lives of most South Africans, the government of South Africa introduced what it calls Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant through the administration of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
At first over 9 million applications were received according to SASSA but about 6 million were shortlisted.
Per the requirement of the grant, applicants should be unemployed and also not receiving any form of grant or aid from government already. Those are beneficiaries of Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), NSFAS fund, having alternative sources of income etc were all exempted from this SRD grant.
The grant was scheduled to end in October 2020 but it was extended by three more months to January 2021.
But as we write this, most of the applicants have had their application for January 2021 approved only waiting for the payment starting Monday 25th January 2021.
But the question most people are asking is whether the SRD grant will be extended once again or even be made permanent.
In fact, the president has made it clear during one of his speeches that, government does not have the financial muscles to provide support to individuals or businesses who have been affected by the global pandemic.
The pandemic have had a negative impact on the most powerful economies not leaving leaving the weak ones.
The unemployment rate of South Africa stands at 28.48% according to statista.com, which even rose beyond 30% during the peak of the global pandemic.
Although, the country is seeing a second and even a third wave of the spread of the virus, some businesses are allowed to operate.
According to the President they have a thought of outlining basic income grant policy to address those issues concerning extreme poverty in the country and give some sustenance support to unemployed people.
But as to when that policy will be rolled out remains a mystery and nobody knows how much will be allocated to each individual.
The country’s economy is hardly hit not only by the virus but partly by corruption.
From other economic sources in and out of the country, government can only implement the basic income grant policy only through additional taxes to raise funds.
Young people are always roaming from one office to another in search for nonexistent jobs, some unscrupulous people are even using this job hunt of these desperate people to lure them and at times kidnapping.
The economic inequalities in the country has made it to be one of countries with high crime rates and sometimes resulting to xenophobic attacks of foreigners.
It seems daunting but each individual will have to find a way to get himself or herself employed in order to make ends meet.
Government should as a matter of urgency create jobs or make it more feasible for Jon owners to hire people so that they can have source of livelihood.