Sassa SRD grant: R44 billion allocated but gov can still only assist 10.5m people per month

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Minister Lindiwe Zulu tabled the department’s budget vote in the National Assembly on Friday, which included an update on the Sassa SRD grant.

The Department of Social Development will allocate R44 billion for the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the 2022/23 financial year, Zulu said.

Sassa SRD grant

The current application period – April 2022 to March 2023 – opened on April 23rd. Since then, more than 8.1 million South Africans applied for the grant.

Zulu said: “I assure all qualifying applicants they will be in receipt of their payments for this iteration of the grant by June”.

The R44 million allocation will ensure some 10 million approved applicants will receive the Covid-19 SRD grant every month.

LISTEN: Sassa manager loses cool over SRD system flaws

Grant moved to Social Assistance Act

Sassa suspended the R350 SRD grant in April while government amended regulations to shift the grant from the Disaster Management Act to the Social Assistance Act.

Civil society organisations and activists called for the grant to be extended beyond the boundaries of the national state of disaster.

In February, Human rights organisation, Black Sash said permanent basic income support was inevitable given government’s constitutional and international human rights obligations.

At the time, Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi explained that the legal framework for the grant had changed in order to be included under the Social Assistance Act.

“Sassa is unable to process any applications for the R350 relief grant for April until the work to provide the legal framework for the grant is completed.”

Extended child support grant

Meanwhile, the long-awaited extended child support grant will be rolled out in the current financial year, Zulu said on Friday.

The grant will reportedly “bring affected children in the foster care system the support they need to unlock their full potential”.

“An amount of R687.0 million in 2023/24 and R871.0 million in 2024/25 has been allocated for the implementation of the long-awaited extended child support grant (otherwise known as the top-up child support grant) for orphans who are in the care of relatives,” she said.

Once the amended regulations have been published, Sassa will provide the extended child support grant of R720 per child per month to relatives who are caring for orphaned children.

Zulu said the grant will likely be implemented in June 2022, and estimates it “will be received by over 191 000 relatives during the 2022/23 financial year”.

Compiled by Cheryl Kahla.

Source: citizen