PRETORIA – The Social Relief Distress grant is reaching (R350) its due date. It has been said in numerous reports that the grant may be coming to an end next month.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has recently distributed payments for the month of February. However, it has also announced that those with outstanding payments should not be concerned as their money will be processed before the grant reaches its deadline on 31 March 2022.
As expected, this announcement stirred a lot of unrest and there have been calls to SASSA for an extension of the Social Relief of Distress. People are concerned that millions of beneficiaries of this grant are going to be left to starve, as they will be left without any income or support. According to statistics, 94% of the recipients depend on it to meet their daily needs.
The grant is being received by more than nine million people between the ages of 18 and 59 years old. Therefore, by the end of March 2022 many recipients will be financially stranded with no income.
The Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana has mentioned that the government will consider extending the grant as the goal of it is to ensure that there is economic growth and an improvement in the standard of living for the destitute communities. COSATU is also among those who are calling for an extension and an increase in the amount that is being distributed from R350 to at least R624.
The finance minister is expected to give more details regarding this issue and offer a solution in his upcoming budget speech on February 23.