Government Overbudgeted For SRD Grant Payments, Returns Billions To Treasury


With an unemployment rate of more than 30%, the R350 grant is critical in ensuring one in three South African adults have some financial support. However, not everyone eligible for the R350 grant has applied for the relief mechanism. 



The Department of Social Development (DSD) revealed that it will be returning more than R4 Billion back to the National Treasury. These billions of rands were meant for the implementation of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. 

The SRD grant is the only financial support available to unemployed adults living in South Africa. 

With a high unemployment rate of 32.6%, the government allocated billions in support for these individuals. However, a lower-than-expected uptake of the SRD grants means that money meant for grant payments will be returned to the government. 

Why Are People Not Receiving SRD Grant Payments 

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says approximately 8,5 million people are benefiting from the SRD grant. However, the R4.3 billion returned to the treasury indicates that many individuals do not meet the eligibility criteria or are simply not submitting SRD grant applications

The DSD believes its intricate assessment process for SRD Grant applicants is a significant factor for the billion it returned to the National Treasury.  

Recipients are evaluated monthly to ensure they meet all the eligibility criteria for the grant. Their process is done in collaboration with various state entities, government departments and banks. 

Sassa collaborates with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the identity numbers and citizenship status of applicants. Additionally, the applicant's bank account details are shared with the Department of Treasury, and subsequently with the bank chosen by the applicant for income verification.

If an applicant has more than R624 in their bank account their application for the SRD Grant will be rejected. 

Other government entities including the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are contacted to ensure SRD grant applicants are not receiving any other financial assistance from the government. 

While some grant applicants may initially be approved for grant payments, If financial circumstances improve to the extent that they no longer meet the eligibility criteria, they will not receive grant payments.

 All applicants for the SRD Grant are assessed on a monthly basis. When their financial situation improves and they no longer meet the eligibility criteria or they voluntarily stop applying for the grant, there are significant savings on the fiscus.  

They also revealed that some people no longer submit applications for the SRD grant.

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