SASSA April and May R350 SRD Grant still pending

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has come under fire after its admission of failing to Grant the Recipient R350 Social Relief Distress (SRD) for April and May. Just above 10 Million citizens have applied to receive the Grant for April. In this year’s State of National Address, the president of the republic Cyril Ramaphosa breathe a sigh of relief as the government has extended it for a further year until March 2023. “Mindful of the proven benefits of the grant, we will extend the R350 SRD Grant for one further year, to the end of March 2023,” the President said.

According to Fin24, The delay is due to the decision by the Department of Social Development to set a means test for the new phase of the grant. Anyone with an income of R350 a month or more – even if this is support from a family member – will not be eligible. But to put the test in place, Sassa had to sign new agreements with banks, which will screen bank accounts for income.

In a presentation to Parliament last week, the department and SASSA said: “To enable the means testing, Sassa needed to procure the services of banks. This process was completed in the previous year, but required the concurrence of the minister of finance, before concluding the contracts. The concurrence from the minister of finance was received on 30 April 2022. The concurrence, however, contained additional conditions, which the bank’s legal services had to work through, resulting in delays in concluding the contracts.”

The incompetency of this agency has seen Civil society organizations and advocacy groups slamming the delay by SASSA as an unfortunate situation.

A South African human rights organization Black Sash is one of the Civil organizations that is not pleased about the delay of SRD grant payment, they have since released a statement its reads “This is a scandal and a national disgrace. While there had been problems before April 2022, over 10 million beneficiaries were being paid monthly. The government has now needlessly and recklessly reversed this achievement, and the poorest South Africans have been thrown into a catastrophic situation,”.

The department has budgeted an amount of R44 billion for an agile 10.5 Million South Africans who meet the requirements of getting this grant. This is despite the department previously stating that 13.4 million people do not earn an income and 18.3 million people are living below the poverty line.

Source: Bloomberg

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