Proposed R350 Grant Alternatives Labelled Problematic

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With the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) set to conclude in March 2023, several alternatives are being investigated by the government to replace the grant. However, civil groups say that some of these alternatives are problematic.

 


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Despite challenges in the administration of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, it ensures that millions of people receive some financial assistance. However, the grant is set to come to an end next year.

The South African government has recognised the importance of the grant and is investigating several possible alternatives to replace the SRD grant. However, the options that have been presented were presented by the government have been rejected by civil groups.

Its proposals to replace the SRD grant with jobseekers, caregivers, and/or household grants have been labelled as regressive and unworkable by the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ)

The group said the proposal seems as if it is replacing the SRD with an overly complicated and highly exclusionary system.

The solution splits individuals into three categories namely “extreme poor facing multiple constraints”, “poor facing some constraints” and “less poor facing fewer constraints”.

Grant beneficiaries would then have access to different inversions based on the category they fall within. However, those who fall in the less poor category may not receive any money.

They explained, “The possible replacement of the SRD grant with a household grant or a jobseeker grant, adding yet another layer of conditionalities, many of which are nonsensical given South Africa’s context.”

The IEJ’s Budget and Tax Justice Researcher Zimbali Mncube says one proposal offered by the government is replacing the SRD grant with a household grant. This household grant would hold the same value as the SRD grant which is R350.

It divides them into those who are undeserving and those who are deserving, who are reportedly looking for jobs and so from a moral perspective as well it fails to appreciate the reasons and the barriers that are an obstacle to job seeking

Mncube added that it is unacceptable to split R350 amongst a household in which more than one adult is unemployed. This essentially means because two unemployed individuals live under the same roof, they are only entitled to one R350 grant. 

 

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