The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has begun distributing Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant payments for January 2024. Payments will be paid to individuals whose Sassa R350 grant applications were approved for the very first payment month of 2024.
Sassa will pay R350 grants on 25 January 2024, and will continue the distribution to approved applicants until 31 January 2024.
The reason behind SRD grant payments occurring at the end of the month, unlike other Sassa grants paid at the beginning, is a common query among SRD grant applicants.
Sassa has clarified that SRD grant payments are scheduled for the final week of the month as it is the anticipated time for the completion of their verification process.
It is imperative to note that while grant payments are slated for processing within these dates, the funds may only reflect in the SRD grant beneficiary's bank account a few days later.
Funds will take about 2 - 3 working days to reflect in the client’s account after payment has been processed.
To be eligible for the R350 grant in South Africa, applicants must meet specific criteria. They must be South African citizens, permanent residents, or special permit holders, and they should not be recipients of other government support in the form of UIF benefits or NSFAS bursaries. Additionally, their bank account balance should be less than R624 to qualify for the R350 grant.
Sassa conducts applicant verification through collaborations with the Department of Home Affairs for identity and citizenship checks. Bank details are shared with the Department of Treasury for income verification. The duration of the bank verification process varies. Once completed, the verified information is handed over to Sassa for grant payment.
Sassa proceeds with grant payments only when they are satisfied that the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements. Due to the time-consuming nature of these verification checks, grants are disbursed at the end of the month.
Sassa encourages grant beneficiaries to perform a Sassa status check to see if their grant application was approved. If an applicant's SRD Sassa Application is rejected, they can submit an SRD grant appeal to the Independent Tribunal For Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA).
The SRD grant was initially designed as a short-term temporary grant for unemployed individuals during lockdowns. However, due to its significance for those without any income, the grant has been extended to several occupations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that the grant has prevented millions from falling into poverty, despite its relatively small value. The announcement of an extension by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana means that the SRD Grant will be available for an additional 12 months, with payments to eligible individuals continuing until March 2025.