The Department of Social Development (DSD) has announced that the income threshold for the R350 grant will be increased to R624. This is almost double the previous amount of R350 income threshold that was in place in April 2022.
The DSD’s Brenda Sibeko explained that the income threshold was lowered to R350 as the department believed they would not be able to pay everyone who previously benefited from the grant.
During the R350 grant's first iteration when the income threshold was R595, the grant was paid to around 10.9 million people monthly. However, under the R350 income threshold implemented from April 2022, only around 5.8 million people were benefiting from the grant.
The new R624 income threshold for the grant is in line with South Africa’s food poverty line. The food poverty line is an estimate of the amount of money needed to feed an adult in a country for one month. While the R350 grant assists millions of vulnerable individuals monthly it is still 44% below the food poverty line.
Income threshold refers to the amount of money that an applicant of the R350 grant is allowed to have in their banking account. If an applicant has more than the new income threshold of R624, they will not qualify for the R350 grant.
Sibeko acknowledged that more while more people will benefit from the R350 grant if the new income threshold is accepted but conceded that government must establish a basket of social protection benefits to ensure that people survive in the long term.
This article was updated on 22 July 2022 to include additional information.