Will The SRD Grant Increase?

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Millions of individuals are anticipated to eagerly anticipate the 2024 Budget Speech, where it is anticipated that the finance minister will reveal updates on the government's implementation of the SRD Grant.


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All attention will be focused on Cape Town City Hall on Wednesday, 21 February, at 14:00, where Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is scheduled to present the 2024 Budget Speech.

Numerous individuals are anxiously anticipating Minister Godongwana's revelations about the future of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, particularly regarding the possibility of an increase.

This anticipation follows President Cyril Ramaphosa's commitments made during the 2024 State of the Nation Address (SONA), where he pledged to extend and enhance the SRD grant, commonly known as the R350 grant. The question of whether these enhancements will be disclosed during the budget speech is on everyone's minds.

The SRD grant is a crucial financial lifeline for eight million unemployed adults in the country, and it has played this role since its introduction in 2020 to aid individuals during the pandemic and Covid-19 related lockdowns.

In his previous budget speech, Godongwana disclosed an allocation of R36 billion to the Department of Social Development to support the extension of the SRD grant until 31 March 2024. Subsequently, in his November 2023 medium-term budget policy statement, the Minister indicated an extension of the grant's implementation until 2025.

Just this week, Minister Lindiwe Zulu of the Department of Social Development revealed that her department is in the process of finalizing policy proposals for the introduction of the Basic Income Grant (BIG).

It is heartening to see that even the opposition is expressing support for this policy initiative. We welcome your support, but equally rebut your cheap political stunt with the contempt it deserves for trying to claim easy victories by positioning yourselves as champions of this initiative that is firmly rooted in the ANC policy documents.

In 2022, Minister Zulu stated that the government was on the verge of implementing a Basic Income Grant (BIG). The groundwork for these BIG policies began in 2021 when the Department of Social Development appointed a panel of experts on Basic Income Support (BIS) to assess the potential impact of such a grant.

The panel affirmed that a gradual introduction of a basic income grant by the South African government would not necessitate significant trade-offs concerning existing social support mechanisms, economic sustainability, and the fiscal position of the government.

Additionally, during the budget speech, Minister Godongwana is expected to announce inflation-linked increases for all other social grants distributed by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Why Hasn't The R350 Grant Been Increased?

The Department of Social Development (DSD) attributes the absence of a grant increase to "fiscal constraints." Despite the department's request to the National Treasury for an increase, it was not approved, citing these financial limitations.

Both Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Brenda Sibeko, the Deputy Director-General at the department, have voiced their advocacy for an increase in the SRD grant. However, there has been no official confirmation of a grant increase, and its current value remains at R350 per month.

Suggested Article:

Sassa R350

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. 
 

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