According to the Social Development Ministry, fewer individuals are now receiving R350 grant payments. There are a number of reasons for this, according to the agency’s spokesperson.
The number of Sassa’s Social Relief of Distress grant recipients has been reduced when compared to the grant’s previous cycles, according to Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu.
The minister made the statement while responding to questions during a Q&A session in parliament on Friday last week. The decrease appears to be the result of regulatory amendments in the implementation of the SRD grant.
Sassa’s spokesperson Paseka Latsatsatsi explained that this came in the form of changing the grant’s implementation legislation from the State of National Disaster Act during its initial phase to the National Assistance Act in March earlier this year.
Early this year when we changed from the old legislation to the Social Assistance act, we found that, firstly, certain people did not apply. We also have a problem with people making an application. However, failing to upload the proper banking details.
Letsatsi further stated that the regulatory amendment also puts more emphasis on Sassa’s requirement to conduct a means test monthly to determine a recipient’s eligibility status. This is to ensure all R350 grant recipients qualify for it.
Currently, around 7.5 million people receive the SRD grant, a notable decline from the initial 10.5 million beneficiaries the grant targeted during its prior cycles. This is after the DSD increased the income means threshold from R350 to R624 earlier this year.
Additionally, applicants who have been rejected from receiving the grant due to appearing on the UIF database have been advised not to appeal their application until they consult the UIF about being taken off the database.
A national state of disaster was declared in May 2020, and the SRD grant was subsequently introduced. Originally scheduled to finish in March 2022, it has been extended until March 2023.