The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant assists vulnerable South Africans to purchase essential goods monthly. However, many vulnerable individuals have not yet received their SRD grant payments.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) must only be provided to individuals who need it.
The minister briefed the nation on Monday on the continued implementation of the SRD grant as part of Social Development month under the theme “United in the Fight Against Poverty and Other Social Ills”.
The SRD grant provides a monetary amount of R350 grant to unemployed individuals living in South Africa. Approximately 7.5 million people are now receiving the grant every month.
Zulu said the SRD grant must remain and be given to individuals who need it. This is because some individuals have received SRD grant payments but do not need them.
This R350 must be money that goes to communities that have absolutely nothing.
Minister Zulu said the grant application system has allowed the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to learn how to improve systems. This online system did not require people to visit Sassa offices to apply for the grant.
Sassa CEO Totsie Memela – Khambula called on individuals to limit the number of times SRD grant applicants change their bank details. This could be Sassa’s verification process to determine whether someone deserves the SRD grant.
Sassa’s Brenton Van Vrede believes that the understanding of qualifying criteria may be creating confusion. They explained that a means test was introduced to ensure people are deserving of the grant.
A means test is a tool used to determine whether a person is eligible for financial assistance. In the case of the SRD grant, the means test checks if an applicant exceeds the income threshold of R624.
The income threshold refers to the amount of money an applicant of the SRD grant can have in their banking account. If an applicant has more than the income threshold of R624, their application for the grant will be rejected.
Van Vrede added that the delays in SRD grant payments are in part due to applicants changing banking details. SRD grant applicants are advised to wait for official communication from Sassa before changing their banking details.
Minister Zulu said the department will aim to have monthly briefings on the challenges facing South Africans. This will be done as they believe it’s important to keep sharing information between the government and members of the public.
Zulu cited the frequent nature of media briefings during the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of information sharing.