South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a massive R500 billion economic and social relief package to beat the effects of the coronavirus.
The president said this money will come from repurposing R130 billion in the government’s budget, and other money from local sources.
Ramaphosa said the government will inject money into healthcare to ensure that there is sufficient protective gear, staff and bed space and ventilators at hospitals.
The president announced a budget of R6 million for social relief.
The president announced an increase of to child grant beneficiaries, who will receive an extra R300 for the month of May, then an extra R500 for five months thereafter.
All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 a month for the next three months.
All unemployed people, who are not collecting UIF or another grant, will get R350 per month for six months.
He said an additional R20 billion will be made to municipalities for emergency water supply, public transport and sanitation, and also to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
An additional R100 billion will be set aside to protect jobs during this time, and to create jobs.
R40 billion has been set aside for income support for employees whose employers are unable to pay wages.
Companies that support the Solidarity Fund will receive 10% deduction to their taxable income.
Ramaphosa said there will be a “phased” reintroduction of the normal economy, led by expert opinions. He said the country will have to respond to the crisis as it develops.
“We will and we must do whatever it takes to recover from this humanitarian crisis,” he said.
He will address the country again on Thursday, where he will discuss the phased reopening of the economy.