The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed support for a “minimum income support grant” for South Africans who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This emerged after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) held via video-conference on Monday.
The meeting followed an earlier one by the Alliance Political Council, which consists of top ANC, SA Communist Party (SACP) and labour federation COSATU leaders.
‘Effective stimulus package’
In a statement late on Monday, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said, “The NWC, echoing the Alliance Political Council, therefore calls for an effective stimulus package that will enable us to effectively respond to the crisis.
“There must be targeted support for the unemployed. In this regard, the extended NWC supports the proposal of the Alliance Political Council that government must look at a minimum income support grant that covers those currently falling outside of social grants, particularly informal workers and the unemployed.”
The NWC said it shared President Cyril Ramaphosa’s concerns that the current economic measures are “insufficient given the magnitude and intensity of the crisis we face.”
According to a TimesLIVE report, Ramaphosa is said to have told the NWC that South Africa needs R1 trillion to respond effectively to the pandemic’s economic impact.
Food parcels controversy
The ANC also spoke strongly against its own members and leaders suspected to have contravened lockdown regulations or sold food parcels meant for the poor.
The statement said, “The NWC expressed its abhorrence at acts of defiance and ill-discipline by some of its own members, public representatives and leaders.
“It instructed its structures to investigate and act swiftly and decisively against any cadres who have defied lockdown regulations, looted food and supplies meant for poor households, and subverted procurement process through corrupt practices.
“The extended NWC condemns the partisan use of food parcels and warns that any ANC deployee who undermines the dignity and unity of the people will be subject to disciplinary procedures. Now is not the time for politicking.”
According to a City Press report on Sunday, allegations of hoarding and selling of food parcels emerged in at least eight provinces across the country and suspects include councillors.
Last week, the ANC in the North West suspended two councillors who had allegedly asked for food parcel contributions from businesses for personal gain.