The Treasury has sounded a warning about the fiscal risks of replacing the Covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant with an “unaffordable alternative”, saying new unfunded social spending programmes could affect the sustainability of public finances.

Its stance is set to disappoint civil society organisations campaigning for the R350 per month SRD grant to be replaced by a more generous universal basic-income grant, which they want to see pegged above the food poverty line of R633 per month. The SRD grant was introduced by the government in 2020 in response to the hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and currently reaches 7.97-million people, according to Treasury...

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