NATIONAL NEWS - The national Treasury is expected to brief the standing committee on special appropriations on the allocation of a further R2.8 billion to extend the special Covid-19 social relief of distress grant.
This forms part of the bill tabled earlier this year on further budget allocations for the government’s Covid-19 response.
According to Parliament officials, the bill will be passed by the end of June, the deadline by which Parliament has to process it, according to legislation. The public have until Friday 21 May to make comments on the bill.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension of the Covid-19 grant for a further three months during his State of the Nation address in February. This left many worried the grant would eventually be stopped and several organisations including #PayTheGrants have run campaigns to extend the grant.
Stipulated in the bill is an amount of R2.826 billion to be appropriated from the national revenue fund for expenditure.
Social security agency Sassa has said there is no fixed date for the payment of the grants and applicants will be paid so long as they qualify. Millions of applicants have not made it to this stage of the process, however. The grant has received 9.7 million applicants and about 6 million beneficiaries receive this grant on a monthly basis.
The appropriations bill also includes an amount of R1.25 billion to be appropriated from state coffers to procure Covid-19 vaccines and implement a related Covid-19 vaccine research project.