In Government’s efforts to support the vulnerable during the pandemic, they have since issued R350s to millions of citizens needing financial assistance. There is now hope that a Basic Income Grant will be introduced as Minister Lindiwe Zulu gave some updates in her Budget Vote speech.
SASSA has since administered the R350 grant to around 6.5 million people in South Africa who are unemployed and receive no income. Now, Government is looking at whether introducing a Basic Income Grant is possible.
After many extensions, applications for the grant came to an end in April but R350 grant payments still continue.
Appeals for the grant will close in a few days on 31 May. Appeals are there for applicants who were rejected and believe it was done on an unfair basis. This then gives them a second chance at applying and receiving the SRD grant payments.
RELATED: How SASSA R350 Grant Appeals Work
In her Budget Vote speech, Minister of the Department of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, said that a study done showed that “the implementation of the Covid-19 SRD grant did play a major role in the reduction of hunger, poverty and inequalities across our country”.
One of the beneficiaries of this grant, Sonto Sithole of Dawn Park in Gauteng, said she started a baking business in her community with the grant and that she “wanted to create longevity with this grant, and I am glad I started”.
The study is still currently running and centres around the implementation and utilisation of the R350 grant and once completed, the findings and recommendations will be shared with the Honorable Members.
This would then provide evidence that introducing a Basic Income Grant would be a good move for the country and it’s people.
Minister Zulu, who is the Minister in charge of SASSA, said:
Preliminarily, we expect that these will be relevant for the discussions that we are having on the basic income grant.
She continued to say, “The Department has developed a Basic Income Grant discussion document that we have started consultations on. These consultations are targeted at developing the BIG financing mechanism for the unemployed population group that is aged 19-59 years”.
There have been various political parties and different formations that support the reopening of the Basic Income Grant initiative.
8.4 million people are said to have benefitted from the distribution of SASSA’s nutrition and food parcels during the 2020/21 financial year.
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