Anticipated Increase in SASSA SRD Grant for 2024. The South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant is under scrutiny as civil society voices concerns over its failure to keep pace with inflation. In response, Deputy President Paul Mashatile has announced plans to review the grant in 2024.
Current Critiques of the SASSA SRD Grant in SA
The SRD Grant, designed to aid the aged and needy during challenging times, currently provides a modest R350 per month. This amount has faced widespread criticism for its perceived inadequacy in making a meaningful impact on those facing financial distress.
Statistics and Government Perspectives
Out of the 27.3 million people receiving SASSA grants, a substantial 8.4 million individuals benefit from the SRD Grant. Government officials, including Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and President Cyril Ramaphosa, have highlighted the significance of this support. However, critics argue that it exposes shortcomings in the government’s financial and job-creation policies.
Proposed Changes and Concerns Addressed
Deputy President Paul Mashatile acknowledges the recurring concerns about the SRD Grant’s failure to keep up with inflation. He reveals plans for a comprehensive review in 2024. Earlier suggestions, including a proposed increase to R413 in alignment with inflation, were put forth by organizations such as the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI).
Striving for Inclusivity and Adequacy
To address issues of exclusions and ensure the grant’s adequacy, discussions involve extending the grant’s expiration date to 2025. Additionally, calls have been made to eliminate the means test and bank verification process that has previously excluded millions from accessing the SRD Grant.
Looking Ahead: The ANC Government’s Commitment
Deputy President Mashatile reassures the public of the ANC government’s commitment to addressing exclusions and reviewing the value of the SRD Grant. While various civil society groups propose different amounts for a basic income grant, there is a unanimous consensus that the current R350 SRD Grant falls significantly short in addressing the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.