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More concerns regarding the R350 SASSA relief of distress grants.

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Social Relief of Distress (SRD) is a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such a dire material need that they are unable to meet their families’ most basic needs.

The SRD may be in the form of a food parcel or a voucher to buy food. Some provinces give this assistance in the form of cash. However, administrative burdens have prevented the government from paying the grants after the R350 distress social grant was reinstated for the next seven months.

The reinstatement of the R350 SRD grant, which will run until end of March 2022, was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his recent nation address. According to Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, R27 billion have been allocated for the R350 SRD grant. More than 5 million individuals have benefited from the grant since it was first introduced in March 2021. New applicants can apply for the R350 grant on srd.sassa.gov.za instead of going directly to the SASSA offices.

Nevertheless, there are many concerns with regards to the online application for the SRD grant. People from the rural areas face difficulties when applying for the grant online due to poor Internet connections and the navigation of technology. Speaking to eNCA, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, stated that new and previous applicants need to reapply.

The minister acknowledged that the SRD have eradicated poverty in many households.

“But the Covid-19 SRD grant is helpful in a context of poverty and hunger. Beneficiaries are able to use the grants for their immediate needs, preventing them from falling into extreme poverty,” said Zulu.

According to Mbali Mahlangu, who is a social worker, These grants are meant to boost the purchasing power of the poorest and will also create income multipliers, stimulating local economic growth and livelihoods.

Mahlangu believes a lot needs to be done, for instance, government needs to deal with the corrupt individuals who are in that sector, in order to create a room for change.

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