SRD Grant Extended Until 2025 | Breaking News and Full Report for SA Citizens. In a significant move to alleviate financial hardship caused by the pandemic, the South African government has decided to extend the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant) until March 2025. This Breaking News explores the details and implications of this extension for the benefit of SA citizens.
SRD Grant Extension Announcement
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana made the announcement of the SRD Grant Extension Until 2025 during the National Treasury’s Medium-Term Budget Policy (MTBP) Statement presentation in November 2023. The original expiration date of March 2024 for the R350 award has been extended, providing relief for beneficiaries.
Policy Considerations and Funding Model
The decision to extend the SRD Grant was made to allow more time for social security policy changes and the development of a funding model. Despite the extension, Finance Minister Godongwana highlighted that no finance agreement had been reached, and a policy decision regarding the grant’s future was still pending.
Originally introduced to support low-income individuals affected by lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Social Relief of Distress grant aimed to safeguard the health and livelihoods of citizens. Initially set to last for one year, the grant has been annually extended as the 2024 elections approach, despite the absence of a clear funding mechanism.
SRD Grant Funding and Future Challenges
With an allocated budget of R34 billion, the SRD Grant will be extended for another year. Finance Minister Godongwana acknowledged the need for a thorough evaluation of the social grant system while maintaining the temporary allocation. However, concerns about potential tax increases to finance the grant were raised by the National Treasury.
SRD Grant Amount Increase News
While unions and civil society called for an increase in the SRD stipend, Finance Minister Godongwana declared that the grant would remain at R350 until the end of March 2025. The fiscal challenge posed by the annual cost of R36 billion to the fiscus prompted the government to view the medium-term extension as a temporary solution.
SRD Grant Final Report and Future Plans
As the SRD Grant faced criticism for delays in distribution and a smaller recipient pool, Finance Minister Godongwana emphasized the limited “fiscal space” available for further extensions beyond 2025 without additional financing. Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu is actively pursuing Cabinet approval for the proposed Basic Income Grant, with plans to extend the unemployed R350 SRD subsidy until 2026.
Fiscal Challenges and Proposed Cuts
In the face of fiscal constraints, Finance Minister Godongwana outlined additional cuts of R69 billion in 2025–2026 and R64 billion in 2024–2025. These proposed measures highlight the challenges the government faces in sustaining the SRD Grant program in the long term.