The Ministry said the new framework has additional qualifying and assessment criteria.
The most pressing issue for unions and interest groups is that the income threshold for eligibility has been lowered from R595 to R350.
This means that the millions of South Africans who have a monthly income of R351 or more that previously received social assistance are no longer eligible.
SRD Grant regulation changes. by Storm Simpson on Scribd
10 MILLION PEOPLE RECEIVED R350 GRANT UNDER STATE OF DISASTER ACT
In his 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA) President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the grant by a further year until March 2023. At the time, it was said that more than 10 million South Africans depended on the R350 grant.
He said the grant was being extended “to ensure no person in this country has to endure the pain and indignity of hunger.”
The Department of Social Development said it began working on a regulatory framework for the R350 grant when Ramaphosa announced the extension in February.
Under the State of Disaster Act, which regulated the grant until April 2022, the income ceiling for eligibility was in line with the food poverty line at the time – R595.
“The Department put out regulations for public comment in February 2022 and has now concluded the process,” said the department in a statement on 22 April.
COSATU SLAMS GOVERNMENT
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) slammed the grant’s new income threshold, saying that close to three million of the grant’s recipients are no longer eligible.
COSATU said it and the National Parliament were not informed of the drastic amendments announced by Zulu’s ministry and claims the government implemented the changes without “any public consultation.”
“This is a slap in the face to the millions who receive and depend upon this SRD Grant. It is callous and reckless that the overfed politicians and out-of-touch bureaucrats who recently recommended a 3% salary increase for Political office bearers are prepared to take money from the unemployed South Africans,” said COSATU.
The Alliance wants the government to explain to the public how the “shameful decision” was made and demanded that it be reversed immediately.