Social Development’s new SRD regulations further burden beneficiaries

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
24 Aug 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu’s new regulations regarding the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant will increase the burden on struggling applicants.

As it is, applicants wait months for confirmation on whether their applications were approved. For many applicants approval also does not translate to payment.

The new conditions to the regulations imposed by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) expects SRD grant beneficiaries to confirm whether they still need the grant every three months. While the DA accepts that verification is needed to ensure that the country’s limited resources reach the people who most need it, this burden should not rest on the shoulders of said vulnerable.

The new requirement will disadvantage many applicants that struggle to access SASSA’s online application systems in the first place. In August, SASSA received 2 455 607 appeals regarding the non-payment of SRD grants – a staggering amount of people reliant on the grant to put food on the table. We are certain there are many more applicants who tried to appeal, but could not.

While the DA welcomes the proposal to extend the SRD grant beyond the current financial year, we are wary of it being used as an electioneering tool. Given the myriad of problems that have plagued this grant, successfully sustaining it would be a mammoth task that SASSA and DSD seems ill equipped to handle.