Mashatile agrees ‘R350 grant’ is not in line with inflation, set for review

Deputy President Paul Mashatile said they will look at the value of the SRD grant. Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Deputy President Paul Mashatile said they will look at the value of the SRD grant. Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Published Dec 5, 2023


Deputy President Paul Mashatile says government may review the value of the Social Relief of Distress grant after concerns were raised that it was not in line with inflation.

Unions, civil society and political parties have proposed different amounts for a basic income grant ranging from R650 to R1,400, but there is almost universal agreement that the R350 that was paid to over eight million unemployed South Africans was not enough to meet the rising cost of living.

The government has been disbursing SRD grants of R350 since 2020 during the outbreak of Covid-19.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that the grant will be extended until 2025 pending comprehensive social security reforms.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has also confirmed that plans were afoot to introduce a basic income grant, however, they were still exploring various options to fund it.

During his address to the National Council of Provinces, Mashatile said the SRD grant has been able to provide support to 8.4 million people.

“While there is widespread support for this SRD grant, there are concerns that many deserving people are excluded from the grant and that the value of the SRD grant has not kept up with inflation. As the ANC government, we will tackle these exclusions and ensure that the value of the grant is reviewed,” said Mashatile.

Godongwana said in the MTBPS that National Treasury will work with the Department of Social Development on the comprehensive review of the social security plan.

They have not worked out the extent of the funding that will be required.

But there are various proposals on the table on how it would be funded, including a number of taxes that could be used to fund it.

[email protected]