Tshepo Mmusi
Klerksdorp, Jouberton township
Date: 13 May 2020

R350 unemployment grant is everything that is on everyone’s lips. Unemployed South Africans have been long waiting for this moment, but unfortunately it has arrived at a time where the country is battling with the Corona virus pandemic and a deterioration economy. In previous years, organisations such as Black sash initiated and proposed our government to provide unemployed South Africans with Basic Income Grant (BIG) to which the initiative was turned down, the government cited that it did not have funds to can support that initiative.

Corona virus has presented us with challenges which does not make the lives of ordinary South Africans easy. Ordinary members of our communities are unable to provide for themselves as their daily activities have been disrupted by the lockdown. Since the beginning of this week every unemployed citizens were glued to their phones placing their applications for a special grant of R350. Those who have applied are now and then checking their phones to see if their application have been approved, and many are still having unanswered questions. And many are still wondering if the special grant will be enough to meet their basic needs. Well the reality is that, the money does not begin to cover the basic necessities, food hampers which are supposed to compliment the grant money are not even reaching the intended recipients.

The lockdown period is predicted to last for the next five months and this is continuation of suffering and torture. Come the beginning of next month, we are going to witness devastation at ATM’s because to date over three million applications have been received at SASSA for special grants. Will social distancing in ATM ques be maintained? Will people adhere to the lockdown regulations? We’ll have to wait and see.