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Is r350 Grant Increased to r370?

In a move aimed at providing financial relief to millions of South Africans, the government has announced plans to increase the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, commonly known as the SASSA R350 grant.

Is the R350 SRD Grant Increased to R370 in 2024?

According to a recent tweet from the official SASSA page, there is an important update for recipients of the temporary COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. From April 2024 onwards, the monthly value of this grant will increase from R350 to R370.

The announcement made via SASSA’s Twitter account confirms this modest R20 raise will provide some additional financial relief to the over 7 million unemployed South Africans who rely on the SRD grant income to cover basic living costs.

The new R370 monthly payment level will remain in effect until the grant’s currently scheduled expiration in 2025.

While a R20 increase may seem small, it can make a tangible difference for families struggling against inflation’s strain on their fixed income from the temporary grant.

What is SASSA SRD Grant?

The SASSA SRD grant, initially introduced as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, has become a vital source of support for millions of South Africans grappling with rising living costs. This grant, administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), has played a crucial role in alleviating financial hardship for vulnerable populations.

Budgetary Allocation for Social Support

In the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the South African government has earmarked a substantial R33.6 billion budget for social grants, demonstrating its commitment to social welfare initiatives. This budgetary allocation includes increases for various grants, such as:

  • A R100 increase for the old age, war veterans, disability, and care dependency grants, divided into R90 effective from April and R10 effective from October.
  • A R50 increase for the foster care grant.
  • A R20 increase for the child support grant.

Finance Minister Godongwana acknowledged the financial strain faced by the nearly 19 million South Africans who rely on these grants, stating, “We are sensitive to the increase in the cost of living for the nearly 19 million South Africans who rely on these grants to make ends meet. In this regard, we have done as much as the fiscal envelope allows.”

Extension of the SASSA SRD Grant

Originally intended as a temporary measure, the SASSA SRD grant has been repeatedly extended by the government due to the ongoing need for support. The grant has now been further extended until March 2025, with the possibility of additional extensions in the future, subject to the availability of funding.

The Future of South Africa’s Social Assistance

While the government has expressed its commitment to extending the SRD grant beyond its current timeline, securing a permanent source of funding remains a formidable challenge. During the Medium Term Budget Policy (MTBP) held on November 2nd, 2023, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana shed light on the potential implications of making the grant a permanent fixture, stating:

Godongwana’s statement underscores the need for a sustainable and long-term solution to ensure consistent financial support for the program. With the potential for a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries over time, finding a reliable and permanent source of funding becomes crucial to maintain the grant’s stability and effectiveness.

Exploring Sustainable Solutions

Recognizing the importance of the SRD grant and the need for a lasting solution, the government has initiated efforts to explore various avenues to secure permanent funding. These efforts may involve evaluating additional revenue measures, restructuring existing budgets, or seeking innovative financing mechanisms.

Key PointsDetails
Grant IncreaseR350 to R370 (5.7% increase)
Effective DateApril 2024
BeneficiariesApproximately 9 million South Africans
Budget AllocationR33.6 billion for social grants (2024/2025)
Extension PeriodUntil March 2025 (with potential further extensions)
Funding ChallengeSecuring permanent source of funding
Additional IncreasesOld age, disability, foster care, and child support grants

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the proposed increase for the SASSA SRD grant?

The South African government has proposed increasing the SASSA SRD grant from R350 to R370, representing a 5.7% increase.

What is the government’s budget allocation for social grants in 2024-2025?

For the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the South African government has earmarked a budget of R33.6 billion for social grants, including increases for various grants such as old age, disability, foster care, and child support grants.

What challenges does the government face in making the SASSA SRD grant permanent?

One of the main challenges the government faces in making the SASSA SRD grant permanent is securing a reliable and permanent source of funding to sustain the program in the long term, as the number of beneficiaries is projected to increase significantly over time.

How is the government exploring sustainable solutions for permanent funding?

The government is engaging in collaborative efforts with various stakeholders, evaluating additional revenue measures, restructuring existing budgets, and seeking innovative financing mechanisms to secure a permanent source of funding for the social assistance program.

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