Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cyril Ramaphosa: 12 million people have applied for social relief of distress grant

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa says the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng dealt a severe blow to the government’s economic recovery plan.

He said this was reflected in the large number of people, 12 million, who had applied for the unemployment grant of R350, reflecting the levels of unemployment and poverty in communities.

Ramaphosa said undoubtedly what happened in KZN and Gauteng had been a set- back to the government’s plan to revive the ailing economy.

Ramaphosa said the Department of Social Development was now processing the applications for social relief distress.

The government had stopped the R350 grant last October but extended it early this year.

But after the unrest in KZN and Gauteng, Ramaphosa announced that the social relief of distress would be revived. It was extended until the end of March next year.

He said government was aware of the social and economic conditions of the people.

However, the government was keen on getting the economy back on track.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country it added to the number of unemployment in the country.

“The pandemic on its own resulted in the loss of 2 million jobs, it resulted in the negative growth of -7%,” he said.

Ramaphosa expressed concern at the high unemployment rate in the country which according to Statistics SA has increased to 34.4%.

“The unemployment has risen it is now at 34.4%. If you look at the expanded unemployment it is way beyond that, it is 43%,” said Ramaphosa.

Most of those who were unemployed were young people, he said.

Government would have to up its game to get more young people in the labour sector.

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Political Bureau

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