[TRENDING] SONA 2023 | Social relief grants to continue
SASSA R350 SRD To Increases
Those receiving social relief grants will be happy to know these will continue. President Cyril Ramaphosa says this is to assist the poor in these tough economic times. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is expected to outline this during his budget speech.
SRD GRANT TO BE INCREASED AND MADE PERMANENT
Government introduced the SRD grant in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has helped approximately five million people put food on the table.
Since then, the grant has been repeatedly extended and is now due to expire in March 2024.
With the aftermath of the pandemic still lingering on, calls have been reignited for a mandatory basic income grant to help address the country’s mounting crisis of poverty and unemployment.
READ: Expert suggests wage subsidy for low-income earners, on top of distress grant
However, several independent studies have advised against it, saying it would perpetuate grant dependency.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the R350 SRD grant has helped many families buy food, but while food prices have soared, the grant amount hasn’t changed.
Ayanda Dhlomo, from Windsor East, Randburg is part of the country’s 7.9 million unemployed citizens.
Eyewitness News accompanied the 23-year-old to a nearby Shoprite, where he purchased R300 worth of groceries, including a loaf of bread, a packet of sugar beans, maize meal, a head of cabbage, and a single onion.
This would need to last him for a month.
“It’s not enough but it makes a very big difference. It’s important and if the government can find a way to increase it, maybe around R500 or R600, I think that would also change enough people’s lives in terms of food.”
But according to the Household Affordability Index released in January, this sum is not nearly enough for an average household’s food basket which stands at approximately R4,900 per month.
Advocacy group Black Sash has called for an increase in socials grants, as well as a Social Security System that is based on dignity.
“We hope that the State of the Nation Address will speak to how that policy framework will be a template for permanent social assistance for the unemployed working towards universal basic income,” said the organisation’s Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker.
The organisation is also calling for the Department of Social Development to fix numerous issues with grant payments.