Photo: GCIS

R350 grant: Minister Zulu shares her ‘worries’ over SRD payments

We’d wager that Lindiwe Zulu isn’t the only person who has been worrying about the SRD R350 grant, given that half of all applicants haven’t been paid.


Photo: GCIS

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has admitted some difficult home truths about the R350 grant and its dispensation by SASSA, confessing that its initial administration caused her great concern. The politician was speaking to the media on Monday, as she gave an update on how the Social Relief of Disaster (SRD) payment was progressing:

  • There have been a total of 7.5 million applicants.
  • A total of 3 429 808 people have been paid.
  • Over R1.2 billion has now been paid out to all applicants.

SRD payments ’cause concern’ for Lindiwe Zulu

Lindiwe Zulu has been panned for her handling of both the food parcel crisis and the R350 grant system. But she was on the defensive earlier today and explained why the scheme – blighted by technical and administrative errors over the past two months – has bee a real slow-burner. The minister also revealed that she has her own worries about the SRD handouts, which eventually sparked departmental intervention.

“I understand and accept the frustrations many people have with this payment. But the system is dependent on verification of applicants’ information by other stakeholders, to reduce our margins of error.”

“Given the limited financial resources available, we must ensure that money does only go to those who need it. I also get worried about the R350 grant, especially when I saw how many people were initially rejected by SASSA, which I why I asked them to review their total applications.”

Lindiwe Zulu

How long will the R350 grant be paid out for?

Meanwhile, SASSA has moved to distance itself from reports that the R350 grant will be extended until the beginning of 2021. Although the government is weighing up the idea of a basic income grant, the SRD fund will not run past October of this year – despite what the peddlers of ‘fake news’ are saying:

“Please note that the below is fake news. The special COVID-19 temporary Social Relief of Distress grant, otherwise known as the R350 grant, will only be paid for six months until October 2020.”