The Department of Social Development has explained and defended its decision to change the qualifying criteria for the R350 grant.
Among these changes is the lowering of the income threshold to R350 per person per month from R595.
The Social Development Department’s Brenda Sibeko explained that this adjustment needed to be made because of the amount of people who would qualify for the grant under the older R595 threshold.
She explained that around 18 Million people could have potentially qualified for the grant if the income threshold remained at R595. However, the government only has enough funds for only 10.5 million people.
Sibeko also revealed that grant beneficiaries must reapply for the grant. This process will only be done once. However, they may have to answer questions every three months with regard to their financial situations. This, as their living conditions may have changed. It was also mentioned that applicants may need to provide their parents ID numbers when answering questions.
She also explained that the means test has changed and clients details will need to be verified. Previously, information was only verified if an applicant was rejected and opted to appeal their rejection status.
Sibeko also urged individuals to apply for the month of April before the end of the month. Around 7 million people have already applied for the grant. She also called on people not to apply for the R350 grant if they do not need the money.