The Sunday Mail
ONE million households will start receiving $300 monthly payouts as part of Government’s efforts to cushion people whose sources of income have been affected by Covid-19.
The total number of beneficiaries might rise depending on the response from the public, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said yesterday.
Addressing a ZANU PF Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) meeting in Gwanda Town, Prof Ncube said in Matabeleland South only, more than 65 000 households will benefit.
“I want to talk about those people that are vulnerable and are on social welfare. Our target is one million people across the country. I think we have about 65 000 households in Matabeleland South that we are targeting with this programme. We want this number to rise and people should come forward and register with the Department of Social Welfare,” he said.
Although Government has not reached even half the targeted number of beneficiaries, Prof Ncube said, those that did not receive food relief would be given funds in cash.
“Those that don’t receive food will be given money. We have said we want to give them $300 per month. That’s what we have in store for now. The figure might rise but that’s what we have in store for now.”
Treasury’s chief director of communications and advocacy, Mr Clive Mphambela, said the money has already been budgeted for and approved.
“This will be a continuous programme. This is money that has already been budgeted for but the problem we are facing at the moment is that not enough people are registering for it at the moment. So far, we have over 250 000 people that have registered but that falls far short of our target, which is a million people,” he said.
The funds would be targeted at those particularly affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
“People should visit social welfare offices and register and then they will start receiving their monthly payments.
“Like I said, this is money that has already been budgeted for. We appeal for people that are old or infirm or those that can no longer work because of the impact of Covid-19 to come forward and start registering for these funds,” he said.
Prof Ncube told the meeting that Government was working flat out to ensure that there is enough grain in the country.
“We also know that in terms of the food situation, the supply of grain is complicated because it’s stored in different parts of the country, and to deliver it in places like this is expensive and there was a time when the grain itself was hard to get.
“This was because we didn’t have adequate rainfall and we were importing from South Africa, Tanzania and even places like Mexico. We got 44 000 tonnes from as far off as Mexico at the beginning of the year.
“The supply is difficult but we are pushing and as people are harvesting now, our farmers are delivering. We always raised the delivery price, so we expect delivery to improve.”