Covid-19 will be with us for two years, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday as he decried the legacy of a 'colonial and racist' economy that has left 10-million people unemployed.
In the space of a few weeks, 6.5 million South Africans have applied for the Covid-19 special grant and by Sunday, the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) had managed to pay out 117,000 grants at R350 apiece.
About 1.6-million applicants were found to be double-dippers - people accessing other forms of social security and therefore ineligible for this grant.
This special relief, as well as top-ups to existing grants, is only going to stay in place for six months, said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a virtual briefing to the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef).
He said the "stops, starts and breakdowns" that had bedevilled the pay-outs of the new grant had been ironed out.
The UIF had paid R15.8-billion to three million employees at 200,000 companies, said Ramaphosa, adding that "the agency has never [been] stretched to this level".
The numbers are an early indicator of the depth of desperation the virus has caused and the fractures in the state that has frustrated relief efforts in the almost...