POVERTY CONCESSION: R350 to R624: Minister proposes threshold raise for distress grant as concerns over low approval rate mount – Daily Maverick

Latest

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu is proposing amendments that would see the threshold for receiving the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant change from R350 to R624, which is the national poverty line.
At present, Regulation 2(5) states that, “The income threshold for insufficient means, contemplated in this regulation is R350 per person per month.”
The amendments to regulation 2(4) state: “If the results from the bank verification referred in sub regulation 3(c)(ii) contradicts the results from the data checks referred in sub regulation 3 (c)(i), the results from the bank verification must be used to make the definition.”
The public has until 29 July to comment on the proposed amendments.
Speaking to Maverick Citizen last week, Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) co-founder Neil Coleman said, “The exclusion level is absolutely horrendous; over 10 million people applied for June and only five million people were approved, which means that there has been a reduction of nearly six million people when you compare it to March…
“There’s never been such a low approval rate, which is the product of all these problematic procedures that they’ve put in place.”
Paseka Letsatsi, spokesperson for the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), told Maverick Citizen last week that part of the reason an estimated 5.9 million people had been excluded was as the result of being above the R350 threshold.
“The main reason for the decline of applications are:
When approached for comment by Maverick Citizen on why the minister was proposing amendments, as well as how this was likely to affect beneficiaries who have been excluded, Letsatsi referred questions to Department of Social Development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant. Oliphant did not respond to our questions.
The IEJ and Black Sash are involved in litigation against the government for delays in SRD grant payments extending as far back as April and May this year, and for excluding millions of people from the grant.
In its court application launched on 23 June, Black Sash said the SRD regulations at the current threshold of R350 were “unlawful and regressive” and said there were grounds for review of regulation 2(4) and 2(5) because the minister had not undertaken meaningful consultation on the minimum threshold of R350, making it procedurally unfair.
The organisation also claims in its court application that the figure of R350 is an “arbitrary and unreasonable” one.
In a statement declaring its intention to take the government to court, Black Sash said, “… we are also challenging other aspects of the regulations which serve to exclude people. This includes the fact that applications can only be made through an online system… the fact that the regulations privilege bank verification information above other information from applicants verifying their eligibility… the fact that the regulations prohibit any new information and evidence being provided when people appeal rejections for SRD grants.”
The department of social development intends defending the matter. DM/MC
Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.
Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.
All Comments 2
Mr President, in the interests of responsible government, can you please, with immediate effect, ban ministers from promulgating any supposed “policies” unless and until they have been both fully costed and the Minister concerned has obtained agreement from the Treasury as to how it is going to be funded.
Essentially going on “ The main reason for the decline of applications are” and those listed : the ones kicked off were obviously corrupt. We have a nation where 5 million people will corruptly claim benefits they are not entitled to. We are a sick puppy with many fleas.
Daily Maverick © All rights reserved
Simply register with your email address or log in to read this article.
Please enter a pasword below to create an account
Please enter your password below or click the button to get a login link
Thank You for creating a free account

We write for you. We conduct our investigations and report the news for our readers. And we keep it for free so everybody in the country can access it. Problem is, our news is not free to produce. Our journalists need to be paid and we need to fund our (very expensive) investigations.
More than 19,500 of our readers voluntarily contribute a small amount each month so that our 10 million+ users can always rely on us to be there delivering the truth.
If you appreciate what we do and are in a position to help, please sign up to Maverick Insider, our membership community. There are a host of benefits and you can cancel at any time.
Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury. Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so. How often do you read us? Is our journalism worth R6.57 a day to you? If it is, you will get R200 a month in Uber vouchers straight back and a host of other benefits.
Join our Maverick Insider membership programme. If it is not for you, you can cancel anytime.

Already an Insider? Click here to login

There are many great benefits to being a Maverick Insider. Removing advertising from your browsing experience is one of them – we don’t just block ads, we redesign our pages to look smarter and load faster.
Click here to see other benefits and to sign-up to our reader community supporting quality, independent journalism.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *