There Is No R999 Grant, Says Sassa

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There are currently 13.8 million people living in South Africa that live below the food poverty line. This essentially means that they do not have enough food to furfil their daily energy intake. A “new grant” with a higher monetary value aimed at assisting these individuals is unfortunately fake. 

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The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has warned citizens that there is no R999 grant available to the public. This comes after a media outlet published a story informing members of the public they can apply for a so-called R999 grant.

SASSA warns clients against the below FAKE information. This message does not come from SASSA. Kindly ignore or delete it.

Sassa was forced to make a statement regarding the “grant” after it was brought to their attention last week. 

The media outlet claimed that the new grant was introduced to assist South Africans. The title of their article is "Finally New Grant of R999 for Basic Income Introduced" implies that a new grant is offered by SASSA. However, this is not the case. 

Grants Offered By Sassa

Sassa distributes several grants to beneficiaries every month based on personal circumstances. Grants distributed by Sassa include the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, Disability grant, War Veterans grant, Child Support grant, Grant-in-aid, Older Persons grant, Foster care grant and the Care Dependency grant.

Where Did The R999 Grant Come From?

In 2024, South Africa will hold its General Elections to elect a new National Assembly as well as the provincial legislature in each province. In the run-up to the general elections, GOOD, a South African political party is promising to provide a comprehensive social security package as part of their election campaign. 

According to the party, this comprehensive social security package will include the introduction of a basic income grant. The value of this basic income grant would be R999. 

GOOD argues that the current Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, also referred to as the R350 grant, does not fulfil the rights granted to all citizens in Section 27 of South Africa’s Constitution. Section 27 of the country’s constitution guarantees the right to health care, sufficient food and water and social security including appropriate social assistance. 

But the SRD grant comes nowhere near fulfilling the need it was created for and has not even risen with inflation since it was introduced in 2020.

The political party adds that the current R350 grant, the only grant provided to unemployed adults, falls below the current food poverty line.  

What is the Food Poverty Line?

The Food Poverty Line (FPL) refers to the amount of money that an individual will need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake. 

The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) reports the latest FPL data in their Household Affordability Index monthly. In June 2023, the food poverty line was recorded at R663. 

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person applying for sassa grants

Social grants play a crucial role in ensuring that South Africans who have no other means of making an income can carry on without being heavily impacted by poverty. There are currently more than 18 million people who depend on permanent social grants.


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Millions of vulnerable rely on the SRD grant to purchase food and access basic services. Reconfirmation of their application may be required to ensure they continue receiving the grant. 

Sassa is responsible for disbursing grants to approximately 18 million South Africans every month. One of the grants distributed is Sassa child grants.


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