Government to Extend and Improve SASSA SRD R350 Grant for the Unemployed

Government to Extend and Improve SASSA SRD R350 Grant for the Unemployed

No Comments

Photo of author

By Anele Zulu

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised that the government will lengthen and improve the special SRD R350 monthly Social Relief grant given to unemployed South Africans during the pandemic. Currently 9 million jobless people receive this temporary financial aid.

In his final State of the Nation speech to the 6th administration in Cape Town, Ramaphosa stated “We have seen the benefits of this grant and will extend it and improve it as the next step towards income support for the unemployed.”

The President said these grants do more than meet basic needs – they represent investments in people and the future prosperity of South Africa. Research shows social assistance boosts school enrollment and performance while reducing dropouts.

Prioritizing Childhood Development and Reading Skills

Regarding education, the President revealed plans to expand early childhood learning over the next 5 years while enhancing reading skills in early grades. Recent testing found a worrying 81% of 4th graders unable to adequately comprehend texts.

“Over the next five years, we will focus our attention on expanding access to early childhood development and improving early grade reading, where we are already beginning to see progress,” the President remarked.

Shifting childhood development programs to the Department of Basic Education allows more resources to be allocated toward giving children the best start in life.

Working to Overcome Educational Inequality

Apartheid utilized education to further inequality, Ramaphosa reflected. For 30 years, South Africa’s democracy has strived to make schools empower and uplift all citizens regardless of background.

“Our basic education outcomes are steadily improving across a range of measures. The latest matric pass rate, at 82.9%, is the highest ever. And with each new year, learners from no-fee schools are accounting for more and more of the bachelor passes achieved. At the same time, fewer learners are dropping out of school,” the President highlighted.

The government has also greatly increased university and college funding for economically disadvantaged students.

Alleviating Poverty through Government Programs

Ramaphosa stated that over 30 years, social policies and programs have lifted millions above the poverty line and reduced hunger. In 1993, 71.1% lived in destitution versus 55.5% in 2020 – immense progress fueled by support for those most vulnerable.

Introducing a national minimum wage 5 years ago immediately boosted over 6 million workers’ pay. Ramaphosa said collaboration between business, labor, and government made this possible.

In closing, the President reaffirmed extending monthly relief checks remains vital until unemployment, inequality and poverty are adequately addressed through job creation and inclusive growth measures. He called for national unity and working together to reach common objectives.


Leave a Comment