Social relief gets R500m shot in arm

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Families struggling to make ends meet will be happy to know that there is a solution to their problems.

The Social Development Department announced yesterday that it had allocated a further R500 million to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and its provincial structures.

The money will be used to give social relief to households and individuals facing hardships.

Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya said: "The allocation reflects our commitment to addressing the challenges of rising food and fuel prices faced by many.

"We encourage civil society and faith-based organisations to continue raising awareness of the social relief of distress."

Earlier this year the department allocated R124million for social relief, of which more than 70 percent has already been utilised.

The additional R500 million will be divided between all nine provinces, with KwaZuluNatal receiving more than all the other provinces. About R119million will go to KwaZulu-Natal, while Eastern Cape will receive R100 million and Limpopo R80million.

Zanele Mngadi, spokesman for the department, said: "It must be noted that social relief of distress is a temporary provision of assistance intended for people facing hardships and who are unable to meet theirs or their families' most basic needs. It is only provided for a maximum period of three months and is renewable after that."