Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele has reiterated the government’s commitment to pay out the R350 Social Relief of Distress Grants (SRD Grant) to beneficiaries.

This after media reported that some grant beneficiaries had not received payments for up to three months.

“This government will always fulfil whatever undertaking it has [with regards to the SRD]. If there was a period of non-payment… on behalf of this government, we will make that apology.

“But as along as those SRDs are due, in line with the President’s commitment, they will be paid,” Gungubele said.

The Minister was briefing media on Thursday after Cabinet’s meeting.

He said the executive has welcomed the launch of the Social Employment Fund.

The fund is a partnership between the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Presidency and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic).

“The support will provide bridging employment opportunities for up to 50 000 young persons in socially-useful work being done in local communities.

“The support will include health and community care, food and nutrition support like soup kitchens, promotion of literacy, greening and climate change mitigation programmes, as well as youth support initiatives. The fund will support 26 community and not-for-profit enterprises,” he said.

Gungubele said Cabinet also reflected on last month’s launch of the Black Exporters Network by the dtic.

“Cabinet also welcomed the establishment of the Black Exporters Network by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, to bring together black-owned firms, which are currently exporting locally-made goods to other parts of the world.

“The network will enable the sharing of information, experience and know-how, and builds on successes from the Black Industrialists Programme,” he said.

Health matters

Cabinet has reiterated that health officials in South Africa remain on high alert to deal with the outbreak of the Monkeypox virus.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that more than 1 000 cases of the virus have been reported across 29 countries.

“Cabinet [assures] South Africans that our health authorities are on high alert to monitor and prevent Monkeypox disease, following its outbreak in several non-endemic countries. Although no positive case has so far been detected or reported in South Africa, health authorities in the country continue to monitor the situation very closely”, he said.

Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister called on South Africans to remain vigilant.

“Cabinet reminds everyone that COVID-19 has not been eradicated and the risks of new infections will increase during the winter season. We must continue to take all the necessary precautions to safeguard ourselves and other people. This includes washing or sanitising hands regularly, wearing a mask when indoors, keeping a safe social distance, opening windows for ventilation and vaccinating,” Gungubele said.

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