Disgruntled Social Relief Of Distress Grant Beneficiaries Say Government Must Have Mercy

By Theodorah Mawasha
KGAPANE-The grant which over 6 million people were depending on is set to end on January 31. The R350 relief of distress grant has left citizens with mixed emotions. The social grant was introduced in May 2020 to help people who were unemployed and not getting any source of income or any financial assistance from the government.
Needless to say, this move brought a glimmer of hope to many households. Although it was expected to end in October, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension till the end of January 2021.
The recipients of the relief grant in Modjadjiskloof, who were queueing to receive their last payments are not happy. Ngwako Ramaphoko, a 43-year old father of three, had this to say when interviewed by Tzaneen voice “I lost my job during lockdown level 2 when the company I was working for closed down. Imagine what a man of my age is going through without any means of income. This money was helping me pay societies and funeral policies. These investments are now going to lapse and I don’t know how I will bury my loved ones. I am frustrated and hopeless. Can our leaders please reconsider their decision,” he said.
Charles Maake who has never worked in his life also expressed concern because this money helped him to print CVs and send them to different companies in search of employment.
“I am now going to start feeling the pinch of being unemployed. I will go back to asking for handouts from my family. I feel our government is merciless to people. They must have mercy on us.” He reiterated.
Meanwhile, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has confirmed in a media statement they were given the mandate to administer the grant until January 31.

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