It is expected that around 10 million people will benefit from the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) after the Department of Social Development made changes to the qualifying criteria. However, an additional condition in the qualifying criteria has now been inserted.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) has gazetted amendments to the Social Assistance Act. These amendments could see the number of people who qualify for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant double.
DSD chief director Brenton van Vrede revealed that a new condition has been inserted into the regulations concerning the SRD grant. This regulation will impact a recipient of the SRD grant when it comes to accepting job offers.
Van Vrede explained, “A new condition has been added to the regulations requiring clients not to unreasonably refuse to accept employment or educational opportunities if these were to become available.”
The director added that Sassa is in the process of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Public Works as well as the Employment and Labour department to facilitate data sharing and exchanges between the parties.
The main reason is that only around 5 million people were benefiting from the SRD grant due to the R350 grant income threshold. This income threshold has now been moved to the food poverty line of R624.
Income refers to any money detected in an applicant’s bank account. The income threshold refers to the maximum amount of money a person is allowed to have in their bank account and still qualify for the SRD grant.
Other significant changes are that bank verification will no longer be the main criteria for determining eligibility and there will be no need for beneficiaries to answer questionnaires every three months to show that they qualify and need the grant.