Sassa budgeted for only 10,5 million grants per month 'If you don't need the grant, don't apply'

10,5 million grants per month
This week, news broke that the Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant would see changes, from applications to the R350 grant requirements.

On Thursday, the Department of Social Development (DSD) took the podium to speak on this very matter.

With President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing that the SRD grant would be extended and the National State of Disaster would end, regulations would have to change across the board.

Due to these changes, the R350 grant could no longer function under the State of Disaster Act and would then be managed under the Social Assistance Act. This, however, meant that the qualifying criteria, applications, and budget would change.

One change was that of the income threshold. Initially, the threshold was R595 but is now changed to R350. This would essentially be excluding those who receive the Child Support grant.

DSD explained that not everyone was tested for R595, only those submitted R350 grant appeals. Now, every single applicant will be tested against the R350 threshold:

We are dealing with the challenge of so many resources versus unlimited needs. From our data, it seems that people earning an income up to the food poverty line would be around 18 million people. The application that we have is only for 10,5 million people, so we are looking at ways to prioritise those who are needy.

This means that the budget can only provide 10,5 million grants per month, with Brenda Sibeko from DSD saying, "If you don't need the grant, don't apply … given that there is a budget limitation".

Even if you qualify for the grant, when you apply for the grant, when Sassa has paid out the maximum amount of grants according to the budget, you will not receive a grant.

Existing grant beneficiaries now have to also reapply for the grant, with the application portal opening on 23 April. Since then, 7 million applications have been received, with the department saying that their improved system allows for 5 million more for April.

In the next three days, beneficiaries are urged to apply for the grant to receive an R350 grant payment for April.

To apply, individuals can use the Sassa SRD website, and the Whatsapp line, 082 046 8553, will open in the coming days.

As for SRD grant appeals, it was announced that they would now be assessed by the appeal tribunal directly rather than by Sassa.

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