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Grant payments up as Ramaphosa announces R500bn to deal with coronavirus in SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

R500bn will be spent to support South Africans dealing with the consequences of the coronavirus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during an address on Tuesday night. He said this amounted to "about 10% of our GDP".

He described it as "massive social and economic support".

He said the impact of the coronavirus required an "extraordinary budget".

"This will include the reprioritising of about R130bn within our current budget. The rest of the funds will be raised from both local sources, such as Unemployment Insurance Fund, and from global partners and international financial institutions," said Ramaphosa.

He said the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Brics bank and the African Development Bank had been approached and are working with the Treasury on "various funding transactions".

Ramaphosa said that child support grant beneficiaries would receive an extra R300 in May, and R500 a month from June to October.

"All other beneficiaries" would get an additional R250 a month for the next six months.

There would also be a "distress grant" of R350 for the next six months, which would be paid to people who were unemployed and who do not receive other incomes payments.

Ramaphosa said R100bn would also be spend on trying to secure jobs.

"Despite several interventions to deal with extremely high unemployment … these are not enough. The coronavirus will lead to many people losing their jobs. An additional R100bn will be set aside for protection of jobs, and to create jobs," he said.

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