Basic Income Grant On Its Way - Social Development Minister

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The Department of Social Development (DSD) recently made changes to the regulations concerning the R350 grant. Despite these changes, the department is still investigating the possibility of introducing a permanent grant for vulnerable adults.

 


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Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu says discussions about the introduction of a Basic Income Grant (BIG) are ongoing. The minister revealed that the department is receiving guidance from countries who have successfully introduced a basic income grant.

Representatives from Germany will engage and share ideas with the South African government on the possible implication of a BIG. This is because Germany successfully introduced a BIG.

“Right now it’s no longer about whether a basic income grant is needed or not, if it comes it will be above R350 and the issue of the poverty line is critical for us because we need to be able to support our people”, said Zulu.

The minister added that the introduction of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant was a steppingstone for the BIG. It is believed that a BIG will have a greater value than the R350 SRD grant beneficiaries currently receive.

Zulu said, “We are hoping that we will finally implement the BIG so that people can have something that is much more than R350 in order to survive.”

The minister also revealed that several changes were made to the Social Assistance Act which changes the qualifying requirements for the SRD grant.

These changes will see more people qualify for the crucial relief measure after the income threshold has been increased to R624

The income threshold was raised from R350 to the food poverty line of R624 per month. This means that people will now be allowed to earn up to R624 or have that amount of money in their bank account and still qualify for the grant.

Other significant changes are that bank verification will no longer be the main criteria for determining eligibility and there will be no need for beneficiaries to answer questionnaires every three months to show that they qualify and need the grant.

 

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