NATIONAL NEWS - During the 2021 State of the Nation (Sona) address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (
“This has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans,” he said.
Ramaphosa also confirmed that the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) would be extended until 15 March 2021.
However, this extension would only be for sectors that have not been able to operate as yet due to lockdown regulations.
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“The conditions of this extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council).
“The National Treasury will work with its partners and stakeholders on improvements to the loan guarantee scheme so that it better addresses the realities of SMMEs (Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise Businesses) and other businesses as they strive to recover.
“We will work with our social partners to ensure that these and other interventions provide the relief to those who most need it,” he said.
Ramaphosa further revealed that relief measures worth R500 billion, or 10% of the country’s GDP, provided economic support to 18 million people in struggling households.
More than five million people were able to remain above the poverty line due to this, he said.
He said more than R1.3 billion was paid out to small and medium-sized businesses, which saw over R70 billion in tax relief.
In addition, Ramaphosa said R18.9 billion in loans have been approved for 13,000 businesses through government’s loan guarantee scheme.