What The Proposed Changes To The R350 Grant Mean


While the R350 grant is recognised as a crucial support mechanism for millions of South Africa, the amount received by the grants recipes still falls below the country’s food poverty line. Civil groups are calling for the grant to be increased.




In South Africa, the food poverty line stands at R624 per month. The food poverty line is an estimate of the minimum amount needed to feed an adult for one month. The value of the grant is however set to remain R350 per person per month until 31 March 2023.

The Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu has gazetted a proposal, that if passed, could result in the income threshold for the R350 grant increased. This could mean that more people will qualify for crucial government relief.

Should the proposal gazetted by the Minister be passed, and should the income received into the account of a grant recipient be below R624, the applicant will then qualify for the grant.

When the R350 grant was reintroduced under new legislation, the income threshold was lowered from R595 to R350. Income in this respect is defined as money entering your bank account. 

The Department of Social Development (DSD) revealed that only 5.2 million applications for the grant have been approved of a total of 11.4 million applications received. This means that less than half of the people who applied for the R350 grant. 

It is believed that the reduced income threshold played a part in the high number of rejected R350 grant applications. 

“In this regard, the Department is proposing to increase the maximum allowable income from R350 to the food poverty line of R624, meaning that Sassa will decline any applicant who receives more than R624 into their bank account for each relevant month,” explained the DSD.

Francina Nkosi from the #Patthegrants movement says while the proposal is welcomed it is not enough due to the increasing food prices in the country. 

They believe it would make a difference if the income threshold was at R1500 but do welcome the lowering of the R350 income threshold to R624. Nkosi adds that the government is not doing enough to consult communities in order to make better decisions regarding the grant. 

“No, especially our government, they don't consult communities, they just impose whatever they think is best for communities and that is a serious challenge. I wish our government could consult communities and see how communities are using their money” concluded Nkosi. 





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