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The government’s failure to pay the R350 a month social relief of distress (SRD) grant during April and May — one of the most shocking things it has ever done — shows that the National Treasury only cares about ratings agencies and not the desperate poverty in which millions of South Africans live.

About half of SA’s population lives in poverty, and more than one in five have inadequate access to food. In 2021 the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey said 1.8-million people and 400,000 children lived in households that were affected by perpetual hunger, which was defined as hunger every day or almost every day. Women were more likely than men to shield their children from hunger by going without themselves...

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