SASSA R350 grant payments

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SASSA update: Talks now underway to reinstate R350 grant

Could the R350 grant make a return, almost immediately after it has lapsed? According to Lindiwe Zulu, SASSA is already looking to resurrect the SRD fund.

SASSA R350 grant payments

Photo: Supplied

Just hours after the R350 grant expired, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has confirmed that her ministry is now in discussions to bring back the popular payment. Over six million South Africans successfully applied for the SRD fund after its introduction in April 2020, and despite SASSA’s cash predicament, an effort to extend the grant is underway.

Will the R350 grant be reinstated in February?

As we reported on Sunday, R350 grant recipients will still be paid as the result of any historical appeal, or any ‘delayed payments’ that are owed to them. However, the monthly handout has now ground to a halt. Cyril Ramaphosa has recently spoken about the need to introduce a ‘Basic Income Grant’, but money is tight for SASSA.

It was revealed last week that the agency has ‘less than half a billion rand’ in the pot to fund social grants. But hope springs eternal for Lindiwe Zulu. She told EWN on Monday morning that there are talks to ensure the R350 grant is extended once more, allowing applicants to claim the financial support they need from February onwards.

SASSA ‘looking at ways’ to extend SRD payments

The penny seems to have finally dropped within government: The R350 grant may be modest, but it’s infinitely better than nothing for so many people. Zulu was in a bullish mood earlier today, and claimed it was a question of ‘when, not if’ the scheme would continue throughout 2021. This will be music to the ears of millions of SASSA beneficiaries.

“The conversations have never stopped with regards to talking to the relevant structures, to look at the budget broadly and see if we can’t do anything. It’s no longer an issue of ‘are you going to do it’, no we are not there anymore.”

“We’re now at what legislation is needed for it, what financial model it’s supposed to be, how we’re going to get the money [to continue the R350 grant]. Millions of South Africans are dependent on this.”

Lindiwe Zulu