[Published by the South African]
While 11.3 million people applied for the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, only less than half of the applicants were successful due to stricter eligibility criteria.
The new approach meant that the grants were targeted at the very poorest, reflecting that applicants who apply must have insufficient resources and not just be unemployed. The financial support of all applicants is assessed through cross-checks of bank accounts.
Anyone with an income above R350 per month, including support from a family member, was not eligible for the grant.
The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) said: “The additional measure is intended to exclude married applicants who employ spouses who are able to support them financially, or full-time students or students whose parents are in a financial position to support them if they are not supported by NSFAS”.
South African Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu released a draft regulation last week to raise the income test to R624, the current level of the food poverty line.
Comparing the last iteration of the grant that started on April 1 and saw a very low approval rate with the last iteration that applied a higher income threshold of R624 and more people were approved, Sassa said that due to the low approval rate , discussions were held with the Ministry of Social Development to raise the threshold to R624, which would allow more applicants to qualify.
Sassa said that if the design rules are accepted, the threshold will be raised from R350 to R624 and implemented in the future.
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