Pretoria – In his opening re-marks the president “Thanked South Africans for their continued endurance and sacrifices, in response to the lockdown that has disrupted livelihoods and damaged the economy”.
Unexpectedly the economic stimulus has exceeded expectations after the president announced that government has set aside a R500 Billion stimulus that will be injected into the economy in order to ease the economic pressure as a consequence of the lockdown.
“Government will be implementing a range of relief measures to support the most vulnerable South Africans during this difficult time, and respond to the impact of the lockdown on workers and businesses.
The stimulus package will be channelled into health care, vital municipal services and social relief.
Govt is scaling up welfare provisions & food support to assist the most vulnerable, and has partnered with the Solidarity Fund, NGOs, Community-based organisations to distribute a total of 250 000 food hampers country wide.
South African Social Security Agency is expected to implement a technology based solution to roll out food assistance at a scale through vouchers and cash transfers to ensure that help reaches those who need it faster and more efficiently.
The child grants will be increased by an extra R300 from the month of May and from June to October an extra R500, and all other grant receivers will get an extra R250.
A Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 will be paid to individuals who are unemployment and not receiving any other grant or UIF for the next 6 months.
This involves: Firstly, an extraordinary health budget to respond to coronavirus. Secondly, the relief of hunger and social distress. Thirdly, support for companies and workers. Fourthly, the phased re-opening of the economy.
Government is working on sustainable solutions to provide relief to struggling small businesses, their workers now and into the future, as the effects of this pandemic will continue to be felt in the months ahead, R100 Million has been put aside to protect and create jobs.
The UIF’s special Covid-19 benefit has paid R1. 6 Billion assisting over 37, 000 companies and 600 000 workers who’s companies are not able to pay their wages.
SMMEs, Spaza shop owners, and other informal businesses have to date received assistance of R100 Million, on that note R2 billion will be made available to further assist small businesses, spaza shops and informal traders.
R200 Billion loan guarantee scheme in partnership with all major banks, National Treasury, and the Reserve Bank in order to continue strengthening relief for companies and workers.
This will assist companies with operational costs, such as salaries, rent and the payment of suppliers, companies with a turn-over of less than R300 Million a year will be eligible.
It is expected that the scheme will assist 700, 000 firms and 3 million employees through this difficult period.
A four months holiday Tax relief for companies, skills development levy contributions, fast tracking VAT refunds and a 3 months delay for filling and first payment for carbon tax.
Businesses with a turn-over of more than R100 million a year can apply directly to SARS on a case-by-case basis for deferrals of their tax payments.
President said! “Our economic response can be divided into three phases. The first phase began in mid-March when we declared the coronavirus pandemic as a national disaster.
The #COVID19 pandemic requires an economic response that is equal to the scale of the disruption it is causing.
In the coming weeks, government will announce plans for a carefully considered reopening of the economy. It is vital that we balance the need to keep SA safe, & protect the most vulnerable, while beginning the difficult task of economic recovery.
The president is expected to address the nation again on Thursday night.