Well, this is a kick in the teeth for thousands, if not possibly millions, of South Africans. SASSA has confirmed that it will be tightening its belt with the funds for the R350 grant, revealing that the financial lifeline will be made available to FEWER people going forward.
Who could be excluded from R350 grant applications?
A major new caveat is set to be introduced by the agency. In their words, anyone who receives financial support from their family – above the value of R350 each month – will be excluded from the next round of applications.
The Department of Social Development shared their plans with MPs on Friday. They are looking to ‘cut down’ on the number of applicants who receive the R350 grant, citing budgetary issues and concerns about widespread fraud.
Means test has its limitations
This new means test could prove very difficult to enforce, though. Monitoring how cash changes hands within the family unit would be a huge stumbling block, and there’d be nothing stopping relatives from giving their dependents R349 a month.
As with any new proposal, there are plenty of kinks to work out before such a policy can be enforced. But what is certain, is that SASSA now wants to tighten its purse-strings – something Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has made perfectly clear.
SASSA latest: R350 grant will ‘go to fewer people’
In her written submission to Parliament, Zulu confirmed that her department ‘has a duty to preserve SASSA funds’, claiming that this clamp-down would help channel the state handouts to ‘who they’re intended for’.
“The duty to preserve these funds and aspects of the regulations had to be strengthened in fraud protection and ensuring they go to those who they are intended for. The department will thus be providing the R350 grant to [fewer] people this time around.”Lindiwe Zulu
- The R350 grant will run until at least March 2023.