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More than 716,000 graduates apply for sassa R350 grant

More than 716,000 graduates apply for sassa R350 grant

Within the past five months, the number of unemployed young people with tertiary qualifications seeking access to the social relief of distress grant has increased by nearly 20%.During a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting on Wednesday, figures released by the department of social development painted a grim picture of unemployment in South Africa.

More than 716,000 graduates apply for sassa R350 grant 

The country’s ‘temporary’ relief grant costs it R2.7 billion a monthMore than 716,000 graduates apply for R350 grant.Approximately 8 million social relief distress grant (SRD) applications were approved in January alone, according to the Department of Social Development.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) received over 13.5 million SRD applications by the end of January. Every month, between 7.4 million and 7.8 million clients are approved,” said Lindiwe Zulu, minister of social development.

Through one of the many initiatives incorporated into the overall social wage, this equates to R2.7 billion spent from the national budget to assist cash-strapped South Africans every month.

The South African government provides income support to more than 25 million people. 

Approximately 60% of the government’s budget goes to social wages, according to the Department of Social Development.Several other initiatives are also underway to assist with free housing, utilities, education, disability, and health services.

what Minister Lindiwe Zulu said About sassa R350 grant

During a parliamentary committee meeting, Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that all payments and statements are now up-to-date and valid due to concerns about late payments in recent months.

Payments were made to about 95% of approved applicants during the early months. As a result, this coverage dropped to about 90% by August 2022. Zulu reported that the number dropped further to 85% in recent months.

According to economists and analysts, the SRD grant has become a particularly sore point in recent weeks, given the country’s economic situation.

As a temporary measure to assist households in cope with the pandemic’s pressures, the SRD grant was introduced in 2020. It is now likely to become a permanent feature of the social wage.

Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned in his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the grant would be extended.

In late 2022, when he announced the extension of the medium-term budget, the fiance minister, Enoch Godognwana, echoed this sentiment.According to Momentum Investments, the grant is putting increasing pressure on the national budget.The Bank of America believes that the government will be forced to stop extending the grant and link other grants to inflation as the budget shrinks every month.

Qualify for this program

Changes to the R350 grant payout regulations were gazetted in August 2022.In order to meet the food poverty line, the threshold for the means test income was raised from R350 to R624 per month.

Previously, those earning more than R350 a month were not eligible for the grant. With the modification, the bar was raised to R624, making the grant more accessible to more people.

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