The R350 Special Covid-19 grant has been extended. This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday evening.
The grant has been extended by three months, contrary to speculation about it coming to an end in January.
The President decided to extend the grant after having meetings with social partners about social and economic support for those affected by Covid-19.
"We have therefore decided to extend the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months. This has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans." said the President.
Nearly a third of the country's population has benefitted from social grants, as 17 million South Africans receive social grant payments every month.
SASSA said the extension is intended to provide support to those affected by Covid-19.
Those who have applied to appeal rejected applications for the grant do not need to reapply, despite the grant's newly announced extension.
In addition to this, those who previously applied for the grant have been asked to not reapply.
Applicants have been encouraged to wait for a reply from SASSA regarding the status of their application.
Now that the grant has been extended, there is still some speculation about the possibility of introducing a Basic Income Grant.
Unlike the R350 grant, the Basic Income Grant would be given to all South Africans, regardless of their employment status.
However, the ANC social transformation subcommittee said the policy for the Basic Income Grant could take time to introduce.
“Given the current crisis and the need for the urgent decisions to address the devastating humanitarian crisis facing the country, it would be opportune for the NEC to exercise its leadership and authority to provide/amend policy guidance within the current administration.” said the subcommittee in a presentation.
The subcommittee has advocated for the R350 grant in the meantime, while government works on a policy for the Basic Income Grant.