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R350 SRD Grant Implementation Issues

On 15 October President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension of the R350 SRD grant for another three months and this was welcomed by many. However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) worries that its implentation will continue to be disorderly. 

 

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The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 has been of great help to the population of South Africa, who could not earn a living due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democratic Alliance (DA) finds the intention behind the grant commendable but the party finds the lack of proper implementation chaotic and worrisome. 

These were the many issues with the organization and implementation of this grant:

  • The applications for the SRD grant took place exclusively online which excluded the very people who the grant was aimed at, as not all South Africans have access to ICT services.
  • The government promised that volunteers with special equipment would be assisting applicants but very little of this was seen happening in reality.
  • Potential beneficiaries of the grant also had to wait for months to find out if their applications had been approved, while those who were approved are still not receiving their money.
  • Beneficiaries who received their grants at the beginning of the SRD implementation have been removed from the list for arbitrary reasons.

The Department of Social Development said that rejection rates for the grant had increased and attributed this to the Auditor-General finding roughly 30 000 applicants who were already receiving other Covid-19 relief funding. 

Applications are considered on their individual merits on a month-to-month basis, which means an application can be approved for one month and rejected the following month if, for instance, the financial situation changed

-Department of Social Development

  • There is poor communication and confusion in terms of information given from Sassa. Sassa needs to come up with a communication strategy that reaches everyone.

  • A backlog of thousands of applications, emails and phone calls coupled with the partial capacitation of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) offices meant that citizens were not receiving the assistance they needed.

The grant which was to be a safety net for those who lived in poverty and were unemployed has been beset by administrative and payment issues. Some of these issues have remained unsolved for several months.This leaves millions of South African citizens, who are impoverished, suffering and feeling hopeless.

The Democratic Alliance stresses that more needs to be done to take care of the citizens receiving this grant as it affects many vulnerable people.

 Read the article by the Democratic Alliance here

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