Government ending its social relief programmes will reduce household demand and increase “hunger and social alienation” says South African Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. This will add to social and political stress and will “in turn slow down the economic recovery over the coming year or two at least,” Zulu said in her response to a written parliamentary question. News24 quotes Zulu as saying that, to date, a total of just under 1 million applications had been received for the relief grant but that the numbers approved per month varied. “It is estimated that between the caregivers’ allowance and the Covid-19 grant of R350, approximately 36 million individuals benefitted from these both directly and indirectly,” she said.