According to Sassa, the Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant payments will be processed this week. After two months of delay, recipients will finally be able to receive their payments.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) introduced the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant during the Covid-19 pandemic to assist those who lost their jobs and were the most vulnerable in the country.
Since the initial implementation of the grant, social groups have been requesting for the R350 grant to be implemented permanently as many people rely on this grant. The plea for the grant to be permanent is because of the high poverty and unemployment levels in the country.
R350 grant payments have been delayed for more than two months, affecting at least 11 million recipients. Thankfully, the grant payments are set to resume this week.
According to Sassa, recipients will receive back pay from April. However, the payment delays have caused many beneficiaries to be without a means of income.
“We have been surviving on the R350 grant since we can’t get employment. These past two months have been so difficult because it [the grant] has been helpful in buying certain essentials, now because we haven’t been paid it has not been easy,” said a beneficiary.
Beneficiaries also plead with the government to increase the SRD grant as R350 is not enough to cover all the basic essentials needed during the month, especially since the price of goods continues to increase.
Approximately 15 million people have benefitted from the grant however social activists have stated that the number of beneficiaries has gradually decreased due to the new clauses added to the amended regulations relating to the grant.
Social activists have stated that fewer individuals are receiving the grant as not everyone has access to devices to apply online, a number of documents are required, and those with more than R350 in their bank account are disqualified even though they may have received the money from family members.