COSATU urge Government to Increase SRD grant
In todays latest SASSA News – The Congress of South African Trade Unions has demanded that the government raise the Social Relief of Distress grant, which now provides recipients with R350 per month, to the level at which they would no longer be considered to be living in poverty due to a lack of food.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the government responded by establishing the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant to help the unemployed. Seven million South Africans receive the R350 payment every month from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants will be renewed after 2024, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) expressed its appreciation for the grant’s continuation but urged the government to raise the SRD grant to the level of the federal poverty guidelines for food.
Because of this, the monthly food poverty line per person in South Africa is R624, meaning the SRD grant would need to rise from R350 to achieve this goal.
It has been suggested that if the SRD grant was raised to R624, then more people would be able to apply for and get financial assistance.
President Ramaphosa has said in the past that he realizes the R350 SRD grant may not be enough, but that the government cannot afford to increase the payment.
“We realize that to majority of you, the money is not enough and that people want the money to be increased but the government does not have enough money for that,” stated Ramaphosa.
In order for the full 12 million unemployed population to benefit from the grant, COSATU argues administrative flaws must be fixed.
The union adds that in order for the SRD grant recipients to start making money for themselves and not remain unemployed, they must be connected to skills development programs and employment prospects.