Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said today, that government might increase social grants to cushion the poor during the lockdown. In a call to reporters, Mboweni said his department will announce Its decision on the social grants and other measures to boost the economy tomorrow.
The government in February increased the old age, disability and care dependency grants by an extra R80, bringing the total to just R1 860 per month.
War veterans grants increased R80 in the war to R 1 880, while the foster care grant increased by R40, to R1 040 per month; and the child support grant increased by R20 to R445 per month. Mboweni also said government will not approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any loans that will see “structural adjustments programs.
“Government, through National Treasury, is exploring all funding avenues to finance all COVID-19 related programmes and measures aimed at addressing the pandemic,” Mboweni said.
“The funding avenues will not be limited locally, but will include exploring all global partners and international finance institutions. Funding transactions will be announced officially once concluded. The ANC, SACP and COSATU have already warmed Mboweni not to approach the IMF and World Bank for funding, but rather look at the New Development Bank, set up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)
The IMF has already provided funding for numerous African countries since the outbreak of COVID-19. The executive board of the IMF yesterday approved the disbursement of US$1 billion to Ghana, drawn under the lender’s Rapid Credit Facility.
In other news – Staff at Mediclinic Morningside in Sandton fearful after 12 employees test positive for Covid-19
Mediclinic Morningside staff in Sandton are demanding transparency from their employers after about 12 employees, including seven health-care workers, tested positive for Covid-19.
This comes a week after Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban was shut down because 66 people, including staff and patients, tested positive for Covid-19 and five people died. The Mediclinic cases come as South Africa on Monday confirmed 2 272 cases and 27 deaths from the respiratory disease. Gauteng, as the epicentre of South Africa’s outbreak, has 865 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 587. Read more