Despite the crucial relief being extended for a year in February, SRD grant recipients would have not received grant payments for the past few months.
And while the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has promised to begin grant payment soon, unions are condemning what they describe as government failure.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has condemned the government for failing to make grant payments since April. They want the current months grant allocation to be paid along with the months for which grant benefits are owed.
Cosatu says the government's failure to make R350 grant payments has plunged vulnerable South Africans into absolute poverty and despair.
The Union said, “It is callous of the Department of Social Development, Treasury and Sassa to have allowed this to happen. The administrative chaos and bureaucracy that is causing the failure to put the necessary verification and payment systems in place is scandalous.”
Cosatu also called on the reinstatement of the South African Post Office (SAPO) for the distribution of the R350 grant, as they believe Post Offices are more accessible in rural towns and communities. The Post Office stopped R350 grant payments earlier this year, with supermarkets being named as alternative grant collection points
They added that the failure of government is inhumane and should never be allowed to happen again. This as the union says providing meaningful and timeous relief to the poor and unemployed is a key pillar for a progressive social compact.