The EFF has cautioned the government not to end the 6-month unemployment income grant for the unemployed if it wants peace to reign in South Africa. He said this on the EFF’s online virtual rally as part of celebrating Freedom Day, the party leader Julius Malema said the relief interventions by the government must be increased instead of being stopped as its beneficiaries will still remain poor.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that old age and disability grants would be topped up by R250, child support grants will also be topped up by R300 for june and May and for the next four months it will be topped up to R500 while for the first time the unemployed are going to receive a temporary grant worth R350.
Malema said the EFF supported the increase since the party has been calling for grants to be increased by two , as well as calling for government to start giving income grants to the unemployed. We want to warn the current government that if they want peace in this country, the basic income grant for all our people who are unemployed should not be removed but must be increased,” Malema said.
Government has blamed those who advocating for the temporary grants to be made permanent of urging South Africans to go against the government’s policy on the grants.
On Friday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, also blamed the media of causing unrest in people , by stressing that the grants will only last for six months. “We clearly explained that this is a short term measure to assist people. In October this grant will be lifted. Let us not urge our people to do the wrong thing.”
Malema also warned the government that it must not evict homeless people from the temporary shelters which were given to them during the lockdown. What we will not tolerate is to take homeless people back to the streets soon after the end of the coronavirus. Let us be part of the few countries in the world who do not have homeless people.
“The homeless people who have been given temporary shelter by the government should be rehabilitated and helped to go back into normal society. Delivering his Freedom Day speech, Ramaphosa said the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now infected 4500 people and taken 87 lives has worsened South Africa’s already struggling economy . “It will take a lot of effort and resources for our economy and society to recover from this The difficult situation we faced before this health emergency are still there. Even we have now paid our attention on the coronavirus pandemic, we will still have to deal with a contracting , crime, corruption, high Unemployment, weakened state and other pressing issues,” he said.
He acknowledged that the pandemic has exposed the country’s sharp inequality and poverty levels, which saw many households struggling to put food on the table while others continue to live their lives as before . While the EFF cautioned the government about the possible increase in infections if the economy was resumed on May 1, the DA has urged Ramaphosa’s administration to broaden the risk-adjusted strategy to reopen.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen said the party also is not in support with the introduction of a curfew and the deployment of around 75 000 soldiers to enforce it. “If the state pays a deaf ear to our warning to reconsider the planned enforcement of a military curfew, the DA will exercise their right to challenge the decision in court, because we place faith in citizens rather than in force” Steenhuisen said.