'I am going to buy extra food' - Diepsloot residents rejoice at six-month grant increase

(Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that social grant recipients would get a temporary adjustment for the next six months was welcomed by the residents of Diepsloot in Johannesburg. 

Ramaphosa increased the funds to assist families struggling to earn a living during the lockdown.

Unemployed people, who currently don't receive a grant, were also included. They will be able to get a R350 monthly grant for six months.

In his speech on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said: "...... child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May and, from June to October, they will receive an additional R500 each month. All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months.

"In addition, a special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next six months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment.

"The Department of Social Development will issue the requirements needed to access and apply for this funding."

Diepsloot resident Anna Molokoana said the money was a blessing.

"When Ramaphosa announced it last night, I jumped and ululated, thanking him for answering my prayers. I am a single mother of two young children and we survive on the monthly grant.

"The increment is going to change our lives for now. At least, I am going to buy extra food for us at home and some snacks for my children. I want to thank Ramaphosa from the bottom of my heart for what he has done and wish him extra years," Molokoana said.

Permanent increase

Fellow Diepsloot resident Tebogo Motloung also welcomed the news and wished that the funds could be increased permanently and not for six months.

"Ramaphosa cares for us, as mothers. He knew our challenges during the lockdown. Things are expensive and we need more money to buy groceries. Again, I wish to thank him for caring for us - single parents," said Motloung.

Thabo Ramatlaba said, as an unemployed man, he was worried because it was going to take the government more time before money goes into the unemployed people's pockets.

Ramatlaba said, although there was not much one could buy with R350, it would bring a slight change in their lives. 

"I survive on odd jobs. Who is going to give me R350 every month for six months? The money is little, but I am grateful for what the president has done. It came at a right time, when there is no alcohol on sale."

Ephraim Motlogelwa said he was struggling financially, even though he had four tenants in his yard.

"Things are tough now. My tenants are all unemployed and they don't have money to pay their rent. I have told them that we are in this thing together and assured them they will stay in my yard until the lockdown is over.

"Fortunately, they are all single males and we take turns cooking, and share the same meal. We are all unemployed and no one is better than the other. The proposed R350 is going to help us change our lives while waiting for the lockdown to end," Motlogelwa said.

Sophie Mkhize also expressed excitement that her monthly pension would be adjusted.

"This man is a godsend. He knew our sufferings and gave us something to ease our burdens. I am looking after my two sons, who are unemployed, and we survive on my monthly pension. This money is going to change our lives for now.

"My message to the president is that he must not take back this temporary adjustment," Mkhize said.

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