SRD Grants And Sassa Child Grants Should Be Scrapped - Political Party

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Social grants serve as a vital support mechanism for millions of vulnerable citizens. One political party has presented a proposal that would see some social grants scrapped and replaced with work programmes. 

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Earlier this year, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana revealed that social grants will increase by at least 5% in the next financial year. The social grant increases would have come as a welcomed development for the millions of vulnerable people who rely on social grants to survive every month. 

The minister allocated R66 billion to the Department of Social Development. A lot of this money will be used to fund the 2024 social grant increases. 

R66 billion is allocated to Social Development over the medium term, with R36 billion to fund the extension of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress [SRD] grant until 31 March 2024… R30 billion will be used for inflation-linked increases for other social grants.

The extension of the SRD grant, and subsequent increase in value, was good news for the more than 8 million people who receive grant payments. The SRD grant serves as the only financial support available to unemployed people living in South Africa. 

Leader of the recently launched political party Citizans, Jan Mogonwa acknowledges that South Africa needs strong social networks to tackle its challenges.

Looking at the circumstances in South Africa, there has to be support for those who are vulnerable.

Despite this belief, Mongonwa believes unemployed people should be provided with social support in exchange for community service. The leader proposes that unemployed individuals should receive a R1500 public service allowance for working 60 hours a month in their community.

We believe in some form of income for those who are unemployed…but one of the values we seek to the idea of accountability.

Mongonwa adds that community service would be ideal for unemployed individuals as they would not have to pay for transportation if they worked in their community. 

People want dignity, they want to work for what they receive,...Let it be you are going to do 60 hours of community service... Why are you saying community? You don't have to catch transport travel anywhere, do it in your locality.

They add that the benefits of this would be two-fold: unemployed residents would gain income while contributing to their neighbourhoods. This service could lead to "cleaner streets" and "safer environments”.

Mongonwa argues that the current child grant system has drawbacks. They say this disadvantages the couple without children who are also unemployed.

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Every month, thousands of South Africans apply for the SRD grant but every application won't be approved. Rejected applicants can then submit a Sassa appeal.

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