The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has explained why the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant application status for May is still pending.
The grant’s recipients have expressed frustration at the long delays they face before knowing whether their applications have been approved or not.
SASSA status pending for May
In a frequently asked questions poster shared on Twitter on Wednesday (27 July), SASSA said the SRD application status for May 2022 is still pending because verifications have not yet started.
Fortunately, April 2022 verifications and payments resumed on 12 July 2022. “June payments have been made for clients that have successfully verified bank accounts,” the poster indicated.
Although July is already drawing to a close, SASSA said December 2021 to March 2022 verifications “will be paid during the month of July 2022.”
Caregivers and R350 SRD grant
Responding to question on whether caregivers still receive the R350 SRD grant or not, SASSA said, “Yes, caregivers who do not have any other form of income flowing into their bank accounts that is more than R350 per month, except for the SASSA grant payment, will still receive the grant.”
Basic income grant
Meanwhile, the ANC has proposed the introduction of a basic income grant when the SRD grant ends in March 2023.
The party’s social transformation committee chairperson Lindiwe Sisulu revealed the proposal during a media briefing on Tuesday (26 July) ahead of the ANC’s National Policy Conference later this week. The conference will deliberate on this proposal among others.
Sisulu said the grant would “expand the current relief measures introduced during COVID-19 to cushion people who have no means of survival to create a permanent support mechanism for these individuals.”
She added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of comprehensive social security as a measure to address poverty, particularly in the context of long-term structural unemployment and inequality, which have plagued the country even before the advent of the pandemic.
“The social relief grant of R350, which was given to people living below the poverty line to assist them through the COVID-19 pandemic, provided meaningful relief and it worked. This has led us to believe that the much-discussed basic income grant would be a welcome relief for the unemployed and the vulnerable.
“Access to basic income grant will help level the vulnerability of these individuals and cushion them against poverty and hunger.”