Home South African Government adds new regulations to SRD grant

Government adds new regulations to SRD grant

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Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has added new regulations to the Social Relief of Distress grant, which will allow government to recover irregular payments made to undeserving recipients.

The Minister for Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: GCIS

SOCIAL Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has added new regulations to the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, which will allow government to recover irregular payments made to undeserving recipients.

Zulu has gazetted changes to the SRD grant, which have taken effect from April 1. These changes will allow new recovery processes and to better deal with irregular payments.

The SRD grant, which is now set to increase to R370, has in the past been commonly referred to as the R350 grant.

Essentially, government has put in a “recovery and uncollected benefits” section that will allow it to “recover all monies paid to any person in the event that such a person was not entitled to benefit from the grant”.

“The agency (South African Social Security Agency, Sassa) may recover all monies paid to any person in the event that such a person was not entitled to benefit from the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress,” Zulu noted.

The department also said that in sub-regulation 2 of the new rules, that if you are a beneficiary of the grant you have to keep your details up to date.

“A person whose application was approved but was not paid because he or she was not traceable or did not contact the agency to update his or her personal details, including payment details, within 90 days of being notified to do so through any electronic means of communication, including the last known mobile number in possession of the agency, the application may be suspended,” the minister noted.

The minister also added that the department could suspend the payment of the SRD grant if beneficiaries do not keep their details up to date.

“The applicant who has not responded to the communication of the agency as contemplated in sub-regulation 2 must be given another 90 days to respond before the application is cancelled and the money is forfeited to the state.

“It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the agency has his or her current mobile number and the agency bears no liability for any communication sent to an incorrect mobile number provided by the applicant. The applicant must ensure that the agency has his or her correct banking details to enable bank verification and payment”.

In March, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced that the SRD grant would see an increase to R370 from April.

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) noted the impact the small increase will have on the South African fiscus.

“The rise will cost the fiscus about R2.2 billion extra in 2024/25 than anticipated in February,” according to Lisette IJssel de Schepper, the chief economist at the BER.

“This is the first increase since the introduction of the grant in 2020 and does not make up for the full loss of purchasing power amid rising inflation, but the timing of the announcement can conceivably be linked to the upcoming election,” IJssel de Schepper added.

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