R500 Billion Stimulus Deal for South Africans
On Tuesday, 21st April 2020, President Cyril Ramphosa announced a plan to relief the social and economic challenges that have affected the most vulnerable South Africans.
“While the lockdown is having a devastating impact on our economy, nothing can be compared to human social and economic cost,” he opened.
He stated that we are in the 2nd phase of the economic response to stabilize the economy and address the extreme decline in supply and demand, and to protect jobs.
He announced that with help from major financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, BRICS New Development Bank and the African Development Bank, a stimulus package of R500 Billion has been made available to remedy the human social and economic challenges that vulnerable South Africans have faced since the lockdown on 27th March 2020.
In summary, President Ramaphosa introduced a 6 month Coronavirus Grant of R50 Billion. This includes that child support grants will increase by R300 in the month of May, and will increase by another R500 between June and October. Other beneficiaries dependent on SASSA will receive an extra R250.
☆A Special Covid 19 Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 for people who are unemployed and do not receive any form of social grant or UIF payment will be made available to ensure every South African, employed or not, is taken care of.
The Department of Social Development will issue requirements needed to apply for the grant.
- ☆250 000 Food Parcels will be distributed across the country in the next 2 weeks.
Sassa will be using a technology based system to track and help the most vulnerable , “faster and more efficiently.”
With South African departments not being strangers to corruption, there could a cause for concern, but the President intends on taking a firm grip on such.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of unscrupulous people who are abusing the distribution of food and other assistance for corrupt ends. We will not hesitate to ensure that those involved in such activities will face the full might of the law,” he exclaimed.
- ☆R100 Billion will be used for securing and creating jobs
- ☆R200 Billion for business loans for business with a turnover of less than R300 Million a year
- ☆R40 Billion will be allocated for income support for employees. Artists, athletes and technical personnel would be taken care of. The President also announced a tax relief
for people contributing to solidarity fund.
- ☆An additional R2 Billion will be det aside for Small businesses and spaza shops
Without proven therapeutic measures or a vaccine, the lockdown will not be completely over too quickly. A “phased and balanced reopening of the economy” will be the most logical and safest procedure. “If we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly, we risk a massive and intolerable resurgence of the disease” he said. An approach based on scientific research will be used to open up the economy with caution.
Life will not necessarily go back to the way that it was, in particular with the economy, as a new way of life and trading will ensue. A new economic strategy will need to be restructured to achieve inclusive growth. This is with emphasis on the informal sector.
“We will forge a compact for radical economic transformation that ensures that advances on the economic position of women, youth and persons with disabilities,” he continued.
He emphasized that the new economic order will be based on “fairness, empowerment, justice and equality” as the foremost principles.
“Our new economy must open new horizons and offer new opportunities to all South Africans. We will ensure that all our people will receive adequate support… The scale of this emergency relief programme is historic. It demonstrates that we will not spare any effort or any expense in our determination to support our people and protect them from harm,” he added.
Busisiwe Mavuso, who is the CEO of The Business Leadership of South Africa welcomes the pronouncements. “We can see the intention is to save jobs and to ensure money in people’s hands,” she told ENCA. “I must actually commend government on their decisiveness and forward-looking report in terms of trying to assist in this difficult time in our country,” she added. The President emphasized on Health, the Disadvantged, Jobs and Local Production, which she believes are all necessary components required to stimulate our economy.
President Ramaphosa concluded the proceedings by reassuring South Africans that not only will we survive these tough times, but we can look forward to a better tomorrow.
“We look ahead to a better future. We shall recover, we shall overcome and we shall prosper!
Written by Tevin NKS
Edited by Tevin NKS
Follow Tevin NKS on Instagram @tevin_nks