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Sassa SRD Increased Several More People Are Expected to Apply For Grants

Sassa SRD Increased Several More People Are Expected to Apply For Grants

The R350 Social Relief of Distress grant provided relief to more than 20 million people in 2022, and more people are expected to apply in the future. According to the Department of Social Development (DSD), an allocation of R44 billion is needed to cater to 11 million beneficiaries a month during the 2021 financial year.

Sassa SRD Increased Several More People Are Expected to Apply For Grants

Since April 2022, the Department of Human Resources has received 7.5 million beneficiaries per month, up from 5 million in April 2022. While the DSD tried to explain that the country is in poverty and that the funds need to be reallocated, the National Treasury indicated that the funds cannot be used for other purposes. According to National Treasury, the fiscus is constrained and the money needs to be reallocated to other departments. According to the DSD, the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant was reduced by R6 billion in September 2022. Due to fiscus constraints, National Treasury took R3.7 billion from beneficiary payments during the same period.

DSD appealed this reallocation by stating it needed the funds for other DSD programmes, but the request was denied, and R9.7 billion was returned to fiscus. As far as the DSD is concerned, it does not have any control over this issue.

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the SRD grant was introduced to assist unemployed people in providing for their needs while unable to work.Because of the circumstances at the time, the DSD had to implement these grants widely; however, after the pandemic, the DSD wanted to continue with the grants in a fiscally responsible and long-term sustainable way.

In order to make the grant available to those who are most vulnerable, the DSD had to tighten the qualification criteria, but the department claims the tightening was an instruction. A R350 grant for the public to use wisely and if they can make a difference in their own lives has been urged by Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu.

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