PEOPLE queueing outside a post office in Durban, waiting for their R350 Covid-19 grant. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA)
PEOPLE queueing outside a post office in Durban, waiting for their R350 Covid-19 grant. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA)

Black Sash welcomes R350 grant reinstatement but is disappointed the amount was not increased

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jul 26, 2021

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DURBAN - Human rights advocacy group Black Sash has welcomed the reinstatement of the R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant. However, the group has expressed disappointment that the amount was not increased.

In his address to the country last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the SRD grant would be reinstated and run until the end of March 2022.

Black Sash said it was pleased that the grant’s eligibility criteria have now been expanded to include unemployed caregivers who receive the Child Support Grant (CSG) on behalf of children.

"About 95% of CSG recipients are women who were unfairly discriminated against as individuals in their own right by not being eligible for the previous Covid-19 SRD grant," Black Sash said.

It added that it was concerning that the grant was not increased to at least the Food Poverty Line, which is currently R585 per month.

"We will continue to advocate for permanent social assistance for the unemployed pegged at the Upper Bound Poverty Line, currently R1 268, while working towards a universal basic income as our ultimate goal. Given the country’s structural unemployment crisis, we have repeatedly said that job creation programmes must be complemented with income support measures and a more comprehensive social security programme," the group said.

Meanwhile, those who previously qualified for and received the grant will have to apply again.

A spokesperson speaking on behalf of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) said the president did not announce the date of commencement of the grant.

“There are still discussions under way as to when to start. But what we do know is that everyone who applies will be requested to confirm their details before the grant is paid again,” the spokesperson said.

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