Johannesburg: The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has been at the forefront of advocating for increased social grants in South Africa. ANCYL President Collen Malatji recently made a clarion call for the Social Relief Distress Grant to be raised to R1,500, a significant leap from its current rate of R350. This demand comes at a time when the nation grapples with economic challenges and a high unemployment rate.
Furthermore, Malatji emphasized the need for unemployed graduates to receive a monthly grant of R4,500. He voiced these demands during the Youth League’s 79th-anniversary celebrations held at Ga Morwe Kameelrivier Stadium in Dr. JS Moroka Municipality, Mpumalanga. Malatji stressed the importance of such a grant, stating it would aid young individuals in their quest for employment opportunities. “While young people are still looking for employment opportunities, there must be a grant provided for them to move around and look for those opportunities,” Malatji remarked.
The ANCYL leader’s sentiments were echoed by many, emphasizing that while the government seeks long-term solutions to the unemployment crisis, immediate measures like increasing the R350 grant to R1,500 are essential. He further added that the state should pay R4,500 to unemployed graduates actively seeking jobs. “Unemployed graduates must be paid R4,500 a month, and the youth looking for other opportunities must be paid R1,500 per month until the matter of unemployment is resolved,” he asserted.
ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile also spoke at the celebrations, urging the Youth League to rally support not just for the ANC but for society at large. He emphasized the ANC’s role as a beacon of hope for South Africans and highlighted the party’s efforts in implementing structural reforms to bolster the nation’s economy. In collaboration with the private sector, the ANC has introduced several youth business funding opportunities. These initiatives include the Youth Challenge Fund (YCF), the Youth Pipeline Development Programme, and the Youth Technology Innovation Fund (YTIF).
Mashatile reiterated the government’s commitment to youth development, outlining five key focus areas: quality healthcare for the youth, investing in youth entrepreneurship, youth technology, infrastructure, and more.
The ANCYL’s demands come at a pivotal time for South Africa, with the nation’s economy under strain and the youth facing unprecedented challenges. As the debate around these proposed grants intensifies, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to these calls and what measures will be put in place to ensure the well-being of the nation’s youth.