Enoch Godongwana on extension of R350 grant in MTBPS
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says it is up to Cabinet to decide on whether to extend the R350 social grant for unemployment after March 2022. He said this was not the decision of the National Treasury alone. President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced the extension of the R350 grant a few months ago until March next year when the current fiscal year comes to an end.
There have been calls for making the grant permanent, with some proposing a R1 500 basic income grant.
Godongwana would also not be drawn on whether the basic income grant should be a permanent item in the budget.
“In terms of the basic income grant, our view is that it comes to an end. Between now and the end of March government is going to decide what to do, and not the National Treasury. If they want this thing they have got to decide where to cut because the envelope (is small). We will contribute to that debate, but that is not our call,” said Godongwana.
Saftu and other unions this week called for the R1 500 basic income grant to be implemented by the ANC-led government. Other political parties have also pushed for it.
But Godongwana indicated that these factors would have to be determined by how much was available in the fiscus.
The issue of the basic income grant has been debated for a number of years now, but it was revived after the lockdown when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.
Godongwana also highlighted that there are 9.5 million people who continue to receive the R350 social relief of distress grant. But this excludes millions of others who are already on social grants.
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