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South Africa SASSA Grants Rise, But SRD Grant Fate Hangs in the Balance



South Africa SASSA Grants Rise, But SRD Grant Fate Hangs in the Balance

South Africa SASSA Grants Rise, but SRD Grant Fate Hangs in the Balance. In early October, South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants underwent an increment, yet the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, including the R350 grant, remained untouched. There’s growing pressure for an increase in the SRD grant, and even key figures such as Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Members of Parliament have joined the call.

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The Demand for SRD Grant Increase

With the rising cost of living and beneficiaries receiving a mere R350 monthly, calls for an urgent increase in the SRD grant have surged. The African National Congress (ANC) has also made commitments to boost this grant.

ANC Pledge to Increase SRD Grant

During the ANC manifesto review launch, the party’s Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula, affirmed the party’s intent to address the SRD grant increase:

“The issue that is being looked at is to increase it… The Minister of Finance, we have told him he must lead… he said it is not correct that we have run out of money, and that is encouraging. They have confirmed that there are challenges,” said Mbalula.

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Why the R350 Grant Remains Unchanged

The Department of Social Development attributes the lack of an increase in the R350 grant to “fiscal constraints.” Despite the department’s request to the National Treasury for an increase, fiscal constraints prevented favorable consideration.

Both Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Brenda Sibeko, the Deputy Director-General at the department, have expressed their desire for an SRD grant increase. However, there has been no official confirmation of a grant increase, and the grant value remains at R350 per month.

Sassa Grant Increment Overview

Sassa officially increased most of its grants on October 1, 2023. However, the R350 grant and the Child Support Grant Top-Up were excluded from this increment.

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Increment Details

  • Sassa permanent grants, including Older Person grants, Disability grants, Child Support grants, Foster Child grants, War Veterans grants, and Care Dependency grants, received a R10 increase.
  • This means the value of the Old Age grant, Care Dependency grant, and Disability grant rose to R2090, while the War Veterans Grant increased to R2110.

Government Spending on Grants

The Finance Minister had initially announced these Sassa grant increases during the Budget Speech in February. The growing number of grant beneficiaries and the upward adjustment in grant values have led to government spending on grants increasing from R233 billion to R248.4 billion.

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