In a televised address on Tuesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said a R500 billion plan, which translates to roughly 10% of GDP, encompasses an “extraordinary” health budget, the relief of hunger and social distress in the form of grants; support for companies and workers, especially spaza shop owners and small businesses; and tax relief for distressed firms.
The main interventions are:
- R20 billion directly for fighting the pandemic. This includes spending on protective equipment for healthcare workers, additional ventilators, staffing, medicine, field hospitals and community screening.
- R20 billion for municipalities for the provision of emergency water supplies, sanitising public transport facilities as well as feeding and housing the homeless.
- R50 billion towards new grants, grant top-ups and other measures to relieve social distress.
R100 billion for the protection of jobs and job creation.
- R40 billion for income support payments for workers whose employers cannot pay wages.
R2 billion to assist spaza shop owners and small businesses.
- A R200 billion loan guarantee scheme from the banks, National Treasury and SA Reserve Bank.
R70 billion in tax relief schemes for distressed businesses.
- In addition, taxpayers who donate to the Solidarity Fund will be able to claim 10% as a percentage of their taxable income.
On grants, the following was announced:
- A six-month temporary coronavirus grant.
- An increase of the child support grant of R300 in May and R500 from June to October.
- An extra R250 for other grant beneficiaries for the next six months.
- A Covid-19 social relief of distress grant of R350 per month for six months for unemployed people who do not receive any other grant or Unemployment Insurance Fund payment.
- The roll-out of vouchers and cash transfers to those in need for food assistance.
- The distribution of 250 000 food parcels in the next two weeks (a partnership between the Solidarity Fund, NGOs, community-based organisations and the Department of Social Development).
Ramaphosa also said further plans regarding the phasing out of the lockdown would be announced on Thursday.