By Andile Mngxitama
All the unemployed are encouraged to apply for the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant of R350 per month for six months.
We do know that R350 per month is too little. Let’s first get into the system and then demand what’s due to us. Our efforts must necessarily be towards the realization of a universal living income. This process will likely create conditions for a possible revolutionary situation. We must turn the coronavirus crisis into a revolutionary crisis. It can be done.
On 13 May 2020 government asked the unemployed to process their applications via the new WHATSAPP line, 082 0468 553; the email address, [email protected]; or the USSD or SMS line, *134*7737#. I figured that the unemployed being poor will opt to use the most cost effective method, namely the SMS system. I tried using the SMS method for over 25 times and failed before I managed to process my application. The good news is that I’m now in the system’s database and I encourage everyone else who is unemployed to try until you succeed.
The R350 grant per month for an unemployed person for six months is an insult. It’s a mere 2.1% of the R500 billion Covid-19 stimulus package.
We demand that 20 to 50% of the R500 billion stimulus package be given to the unemployed. On what basis did Ramaphosa decide to give the unemployed just R350 per person per month for six months? There’s no reasonable explanation for this. The banks got R540 billion! Have we forgotten that the Marikana workers died for demanding a living wage of R12 500 per month?
Our mathematical calculations suggest that we are entitled to far more than what we are promised. To this end 20% of R500 billion will give 5 million unemployed people a total of R20 000 each for six months which translates to R3 300 per month for six months. Also, 50% of R500 billion will give 5 million unemployed people a total of R50 000 each for six months which amounts to R 8 300 per month for six months. Its clear that all Members of Parliament think that R350 relief for the poor makes sense. Can they all try to live on R350 for one month? Let’s see. Their silence is dispicably loud.
Yesterday I did a live presentation calling on the unemployed to each apply for the SRD Grant of R350 per month for six months. Watch my full engagement: https://www.facebook.com/andile.mngxi/videos/1672389856253189/
Be realistic, demand the impossible!
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.