Social safety net payouts begin

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
Vulnerable individuals in Bulawayo and Harare who are part of one million identified through the Social Welfare Department to benefit from the $600 million fund availed by the Government to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 started receiving cash transfers yesterday.

Beneficiaries are receiving $180 each from the social safety net fund which, Government said, will be increased soon.

In other parts of the country, registered beneficiaries can expect to receive their allocation by the weekend.

After the vulnerable, the disbursements will be made to vendors starting from next week.

Government resolved to cushion vulnerable households, whose sources of income were affected by the 21-day national lockdown, which is aimed at mitigating against the spread of Covid-19.

The $600 million package, for three months, was announced two weeks ago by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

Beneficiaries are using their preferred mobile networks to receive the money.

They realise the full value of the pay-outs after mobile operators assured that they will not be charged transactional costs when cashing out.

OneMoney and EcoCash platforms are being used for this cause.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke confirmed yesterday that cash transfers had been made for beneficiaries in Harare and Bulawayo.

“Some households in Harare and Bulawayo started receiving their cash transfers today. I don’t have the exact number of those who have received their cash transfers,” said Deputy Minister Matuke.

He said the names of beneficiaries had been sent to network providers to effect the payments.

“By the end of the weekend, we expect all beneficiaries across the country will have received their cash transfers,” said Deputy Minister Matuke.

He said they had faced a challenge of duplication of names after some people who had submitted their names in different areas.

“However, we managed to correct this and made sure that each deserving case or individual received a cash transfer once and not multiple times. We have also been separating vendors and vulnerable people groups,” said Deputy Minister Matuke.

He said should there be any technical glitches or errors, people will continue to receive the money even after the lockdown period.

“Those with queries can approach their local leadership,” he said.

Midlands Provincial Development Coordinator, Mr Abiot Maronge confirmed to Chronicle that they had received the payout schedule for 15 000 beneficiaries in the province.

“The schedule for the cash transfers is now here meaning that the beneficiaries can receive the cash transfer anytime,” he said.

Mr Maronge also said Government had also started distributing basic commodities to residential areas to minimise movement of people into city centres.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Matuke said he will be in Bulawayo, Plumtree and Victoria Falls checking on the welfare of the people who were put in shelters.

“We are coming to Bulawayo, Plumtree and Victoria Falls to check on the homeless people and other people who were put in quarantine. We are a caring Government and we are going back to see if our people are living in good conditions. We also check on those people who are in homes,” he said.

You Might Also Like