By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Government has announced plans to extend Covid-19 grants in South Africa as businesses and individuals continue to struggle due to the pandemic.
In his state of the nation address on Thursday (11 February), the president said that 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.
"We have therefore decided to extend the period for the Special Covid-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months."
Ramaphosa said that this grant has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans.
We have also decided to extend the Covid-19 TERS benefit until 15 March 2021 only for those sectors that have not been able to operate.
"The conditions of this extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at NEDLAC."
Ramaphosa said that 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 recover.
"We will work with our social partners to ensure that these and other interventions provide the relief to those who most need it," he said.