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Legal Action Over Sassa R350 Grant Withdrawn

Legal Action Over Sassa R350 Grant Withdrawn

There seems to have been a response to growing calls for changing the income threshold for the R350 grant. The grant’s existing applicants would have suffered devastating consequences if this had not been done, according to a human rights organization. 

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has withdrawn its lawsuit against human rights organization, Black Sash. As part of the R350 grant disbursement process, Sassa recently made regulatory changes.

Legal Action Over Sassa R350 Grant Withdrawn

The government reduced the eligibility requirement for the SRD grant from R595 to R350 without seeking input or approval in April 2022.

In response to the amended Regulations, which are welcomed, we have since withdrawn the legal application. It nevertheless remains disheartening that it took a legal challenge for DSD to change its course and adopt a human rights-based approach to the grant system. 

Beneficiaries were not allowed to have more than R350 in their bank accounts each month, regardless of where the money came from, as they were deemed “too rich” for the SRD award.

In June 2022, Black Sash filed an urgent application with the High Court of Pretoria disputing this new eligibility requirement’s arbitrary and exclusionary nature, among other reasons for the review. Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) represented the human rights organization.

Legal Action Over Sassa R350

A number of issues were brought up during the litigation, including the use of only digital systems or online platforms for R350 grant applications, the preference of bank verification information over other applicant information, and other issues.

The impossibly low income threshold of R350; and the fact that the Regulations prohibit beneficiaries from providing new information or evidence when appealing rejections of their SRD grant applications.” Black Sash continued.

Sassa’s decision would have had devastating implications for 15.5 million R350 grant applicants if the agency hadn’t made the regulatory changes. 

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