While many can criticise President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2021, there are also many that are thankful as he announced that the COVID-19 Ters benefit would be extended.
Not only the Ters benefit but also the SASSA R350 COVID-19 grant which has come as a major relief to those who have been struggling to survive the pandemic and its effects.
SONA 2021: COVID-19 TERS BENEFIT EXTENDED
Ramaphosa, during SONA 2021, said that as we rebuild the economy in the midst of a pandemic, it is necessary that we continue — within our means — to provide support to those businesses and individuals that continue to be most affected.
“Businesses in several sectors are still struggling and many families continue to suffer as the job market slowly recovers. Over the last few months, we have had ongoing discussions with our social partners in business and labour, who proposed an extension of some of the social and economic support,” he said.
Following discussions and consultations, government decided to extend the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months as it proved to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans.
It also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March 2021 but only for those sectors that have not been able to operate.
CONDITIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED AFTER CONSULTATIONS
Ramaphosa, towards the end of his SONA speech, said the conditions of UIF Ters extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at NEDLAC.
“The National Treasury will work with its partners and stakeholders on improvements to the loan guarantee scheme so that it better addresses the realities of SMMEs and other businesses as they strive to recover,” he said.
“We will work with our social partners to ensure that these and other interventions provide the relief to those who most need it,” he added.