R350 Grant Should Be Extended Until Basic Income Grant Arrives - #PayTheGrants
Civil society groups are now calling government's termination of the R350 grant 'unjust' and have called for government to extend the grant until the Basic Income Grant is implemented. The #PayTheGrants campaign has said that citizens have the right to these grants.
#PayTheGrants campaign, which forms part of the C19 People's Coalition group, has continued their calls for the R350 grant to be extended after it ended just last week and that Government has been unjust in it's termination of the grant.
They therefore believe that until the Basic Income grant comes into action, the R350 grant should be extended.
Basic Income Grant
The campaign sees the R350 grant as a bridge to "a basic income guarantee".
"We don't see this as a handout or as a charity or a favour to people. We see this as people's right," said Khalla.
The group has been trying to engage with all parties involved in decision making for the grant such as Government, Treasury, the Department of Social Development and SASSA for months.
Shaeera Kalla from the campaign has said:
They haven't given us any justification for the termination of these grants and in fact we've been trying to meet with them for a year now. We've been sending letters, we've been trying to engage. They don't seem to be interested in any engagement with civil society.
This termination of the grant has an impact on millions of people, said Kalla, as 6,9 million were benefitting from the grant.
Calls for R350 Grant To Be Increased
Another demand is that of the grant being increased to R585 as the group, along with beneficiaries, have said that R350 is not enough.
R350 is below the food poverty line and is a very small amount of what people need to survive.
What's going on with this grant is very unjust and actually unconstitutional.
The Caregivers' grant was terminated last year November as well which saw 7 million people receiving money through this grant. They are not able to benefit from the Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant as they receive money from the Child Support grant.
The Coalition has therefore also been calling for Caregivers to be included in the R350 grant.
"The logic that our government seems to be using in terms of social relief is completely unjust and they haven't given any reasoning for how they have structured these programmes."
The administration of the grant has also been criticised as Khalla explains that SASSA has been using it's facilities in a way that does not carry out the urgency of these grants.
SASSA's SRD grant closed on 30 April. This grant was targeted towards unemployed individuals who had no other source of income or grants and saw beneficiaries receive R350 per month.
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