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Sassa to help R350 grant recipients find jobs

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Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) is working on a plan to help those receiving the R350 social relief distress grant (SRD) find work.

Zulu revealed this while responding to a written parliamentary question from the EFF.

The red berets asked “what measures of intervention will her department take to accommodate the more than 500,000 people that will be excluded from the SRD due to budget constraints?”

Zulu’s department was allocated a R44bn budget that can only accommodate 10.5-million SRD beneficiaries until the end of March next year.
The state of the nation address (Sona) has focused on much needed economic reforms, plans to deal with issues at state-owned entities and support for fledgling businesses such as hemp growers.

“Currently, Sassa is in the process of establishing a data-sharing relationship with the departments of public works and infrastructure and employment and labour with the goal of assisting Covid-19 SRD recipients to gain access to employment opportunities.

“Furthermore, the department has finalised a framework on linking social protection beneficiaries to sustainable livelihoods initiatives, with the view to provide skills targeting the unemployed and those on the SRD database to enhance chances of employment,” said Zulu.

Who will the programme focus on?

Zulu said the department will focus on vulnerable individuals, with a particular focus on youth and women. \

“Through this programme, the department and its entities, working development agencies, provides skills development projects that have a potential to generate income and create employment opportunities,” she said.

“These measures are intended to provide for those who cannot be accommodated through the social grants or the SRD Grant and to channel them into more sustainable jobs and other economic activities.”

Basic income grant on the cards?

Earlier this month, ANC social transformation subcommittee chair Lindiwe Sisulu said a basic income grant is on the table.

“We were the committee that made it possible to provide our people during lockdown with R350 as an interim measure for their sustainability. We realised it was possible to deal beyond that and deal with basic income grants.

“We had several meetings with Treasury to see whether it is possible, within the limited resources we have, to introduce this now, or whether we might want to continue with the R350 for a particular period of time,” she said.

Sisulu said discussions are on the table and the final decision lies with finance minister Enoch Godongwana.

“It is something that will have to be effected into the budget. He’s trying to work out how we get around it, making sure we can have this as an ongoing and sustainable method of ensuring those people who have no access to any resources whatsoever or any other means will be supported by the state,” she said.

Source: Times Live

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