Extension of R350 grant a 2024 election campaign for ANC, says FF Plus
The extension of the R350 a month social relief of distress grant (SRDG) is an "election campaign strategy" by the ANC for the 2024 national and provincial polls.
So said Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Pieter Groenewald after the announcement of the extension by finance minister Enoch Godongwana when he tabled the mid-term budget on Wednesday.
Godongwana announced the SRDG, initially introduced to cushion the unemployed from Covid-19 economic hardships, will continue until March 2024.
This while government considers the feasibility of a permanent basic income grant.
Groenewald said the country cannot afford more social welfare and insistence on this serves the electoral interests of the ANC.
“First, we cannot afford a basic income grant in South Africa because we do not have the money for it. Then there is the extension of the SRDG for another year and the question is can we afford it or it is part of an election campaign for the ANC come 2024?
“Government must ensure there is real economic growth and we create jobs. If we create jobs we will not have a need for grants such as the basic income grant,” he said.
Godongwana said the money to fund the extension comes from sacrificing in equally important public services such as policing.
He announced more funds for SAPS for an additional 15,000 officers over the next three years.
“Government has said extend it [the grant] until 2024. In the meantime, we have to design a benefit structure for vulnerable people. If we can finalise that before 2024, well and good. If we have not finalised it by 2024, then I do not know.
“There are trade-offs. For example we would have loved to increase the police by 30,000 over the [medium-term] but because of the grant we did not do so.”
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