Does The SRD Grant Extension Mean Payments Will Be Increased?

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The Social Relief of Distress grant was introduced by the government to reduce the economic effects that came with the Covid-19 pandemic. The grant has since been extended a number of times, and with each extension, there have been growing calls for the grant amount to be increased.

 


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The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant came about as the government’s response to the economic ripple effects that resulted from the pandemic, providing financial assistance to those who do not have any financial means to support themselves.

In this year’s State Of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the grant reaches approximately 7.8 million people.

In recent months, it had been assumed that the grant would be increased, but the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has since clarified that the SRD grant remains to be R350 per month.

Some experts have pointed out that this grant is not charity but rather enables people to start doing things for themselves.

To counter the rising cost of living,  the government will continue with the monthly payment of the SRD to beneficiaries, announced Ramaphosa during his Address at Cape Town Hall.

In an interview, Social Policy Initiatives Executive Director,  Isobel Frye said:

We  are delighted that it has been extended, our only concern is the amount.

Ramaphosa has also mentioned that the government will ensure that existing social grants are increased to cushion the poor against rising inflation.

However, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is expected to outline this during his National Budget Speech on 22 February 2023.

According to the ministry of finance, the budget allocation speech will aim to strike a balance between competing national spending priorities and the limited resources available to the National Treasury.

Human Rights organisation, The Black Sash is currently waiting in anticipation to hear what that increase will be and also demands that the increase in social grants to be at least at the inflation rate, with no grant being below the Food Poverty Line.

Youth and Gender activist, Ayanda Sishi Wigzell said if there were any decent politicians in South Africa today there would have been a universal Basic Income Grant a long time back.

It is for this reason that in the 2023 SONA it has been revealed that work is underway to develop a mechanism for targeted basic income support for the most vulnerable, but within the government's fiscal constraints.

 

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Unemployment and poverty have become one of the biggest challenges faced in South Africa. However, a new report reveals that strides are being made with regards to the implementation of a permanent support grant in the country.

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