How Much is SRD Grant Now?

How Much is SRD Grant Now? R350 Grant Increase 2024

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By Anele Zulu

The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, previously R350, has been increased to R370 as of April 2024. This represents a 5.7% increase in the grant that was initially introduced in 2020 as a temporary COVID-19 relief measure.

The SRD grant, commonly referred to as the R350 grant, has provided crucial financial assistance to around 9 million South Africans who have no other source of income. Given the rising cost of living, this R20 increase per beneficiary will offer some relief to those relying solely on the grant.

The Grant Increase Announcement

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana officially announced the increase from R350 to R370 while addressing the National Assembly on March 13th, 2024. He stated that the President had confirmed the grant’s continuation with an improvement from the previous R350 amount.

“I am pleased to say that we have found consensus that in between, subject to the finalization of the comprehensive social security [programme], we’ll increase the R350 to R370 by the 1st of April this year.”

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwan

However, the exact effective date of April 1st, 2024 for the increased R370 grant was not definitively confirmed. The Minister indicated it would be implemented on an interim basis pending finalization of a broader comprehensive social security program.

Increased Budgetary Allocation for Social Support

In the 2024/2025 national budget, the government allocated R33.6 billion specifically for social grants. This substantial budgetary provision demonstrates a commitment to financially supporting vulnerable populations despite fiscal constraints.

Other social grant increases announced for 2024 include:

The Finance Minister acknowledged the rising cost of living impacting nearly 19 million grant beneficiaries, stating “We are sensitive to the increase…we have done as much as the fiscal envelope allows.”

Extension of COVID-19 Relief Grant

What began as a temporary COVID-19 relief grant has been repeatedly extended by the government due to the persistent need for support among financially distressed households.

The SRD grant has now been extended until March 2025, with the possibility of further extensions being considered to continue assisting struggling South Africans.

Long-term Funding Challenges

While committed to the SRD and other social grants currently, a key challenge is securing a permanent, sustainable funding source if they are made permanent beyond 2025.

Minister Godongwana projected that making a grant like the SRD permanent could see beneficiaries grow from 27.3 million in 2023/24 to 40.4 million by 2040/41 at a cost of 3.8% of GDP annually.

“If that or a similar type of new grant is made permanent, …it will require a corresponding permanent source of funding, such as additional revenue measures,” he stated.

The government is carefully considering long-term financial solutions to consistently support an expanded social assistance system for those in need.

Looking Ahead

Though the increase to R370 is not immediate, it signifies an important step in further assisting millions grappling with economic hardship. Coupled with increases to other grants, this underscores the administration’s focus on enhancing social welfare efforts.

As authorities explore sustainable long-term funding models, the extended COVID-19 relief grants continue providing a financial lifeline for beneficiaries. The path forward involves balancing support for vulnerable citizens with sustainable budgeting and revenue sources.

Ultimately, this increase aims to progressively realize the basic rights of all South Africans to access social assistance when facing difficulties. Through such measures, the nation strives to foster a more equitable society where no one is left behind.

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