Challenges with the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant Payments in South Africa

The R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), has been a crucial support for numerous unemployed individuals, offering financial assistance in times of need.

However, concerns are growing due to inconsistent payment patterns that are causing frustration among beneficiaries.

Dissatisfaction Among Beneficiaries

Many individuals who rely on the R350 grant as a lifeline in the face of joblessness have turned to social media platforms to express their dissatisfaction with the erratic payment schedule.

With daily expenses on the rise, the uncertainty of when the grant will be received adds to their financial distress.

Impact on Recipients

Even after applicants are notified of their successful enrollment in the program, some recipients are experiencing frustration over irregular payment schedules.

This has raised doubts about the effectiveness of the grant and its ability to provide consistent relief.

Origins of the SRD Grant

The SRD grant was introduced in 2020 as a response to the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Its aim was to alleviate the financial burden faced by unemployed individuals who were struggling to make ends meet.

However, despite its intended purpose, some beneficiaries have reported inconsistency in receiving the grant.

Addressing Payment Issues

SASSA acknowledges the concerns raised by beneficiaries and has identified a backlog in grant payments as a primary cause for the delays.

The agency explained that delays are partly due to the rigorous verification process that is conducted to confirm eligibility.

This verification process involves checks on citizenship and validation of registration with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Key Factors in Delays

SASSA has emphasized the importance of accurate bank details and a comprehensive assessment before granting approval.

Delays have also arisen from errors in the application process, such as providing incomplete or inaccurate bank information.

SASSA urges applicants to ensure precise account details to avoid payment issues.

Payment Schedule and Commitment

SASSA clarified that there is no fixed payment date for the special COVID-19 SRD grant.

Each month, applicants’ eligibility is reevaluated, and if they continue to qualify, they receive the payment for that month.

Despite the challenges and delays, SASSA remains committed to promptly and accurately disbursing the grants to those in need.

Looking Ahead

As the R350 SRD grant enters its third phase, introduced in April 2020 due to the economic impact of COVID-19, SASSA acknowledges the frustration experienced by beneficiaries.

The agency is actively working on expediting the verification process, although the complexity of these checks may extend processing times.

SASSA appeals for patience from applicants and reassures them of its dedication to providing timely financial support.


The R350 SRD grant has been a vital source of financial assistance for unemployed individuals in South Africa, yet challenges in the payment system have led to dissatisfaction and concerns among beneficiaries.

SASSA recognizes the issues and is committed to addressing them to ensure that the grant continues to serve its intended purpose effectively.