Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
22 Apr 2021
11:44 am

Rights group wants R350 social relief grant increased, extended

Siyanda Ndlovu

The organisation wants the government to reassess the 'unduly harsh and narrow criteria for accessing the grant and improve administration of the grant'.

Black Sash march outside the Department of Social Development in Pretoria on Thursday 22 April. Picture: Twitter Screengrab

 

Human rights organisation Black Sash along with 85 other organisations, are putting pressure on government to extend, expand and increase the R350 pandemic social relief of distress grant.

The organisations picketed outside the Social Development Department head office in Pretoria on Thursday as they handed over their memorandum of demands.

An online petition is also gaining momentum since its launch, requesting citizens to sign up “in support of the millions of people who stand to lose this grant if terminated”.

ALSO READ: R350 grant recipients don’t have to reapply, says Sassa

The memorandum calls for the extension of the relief grant until it is turned into basic income support. Among its demands are:

  • Increase the social relief grant to at the very least the food poverty line, R585 per person a month.
  • Expand the relief grant. It says caregivers must qualify for the Covid-19 social relief grant, regardless of whether they are receiving a child support grant on behalf of their children.
  • Reassess the unduly harsh and narrow criteria for accessing the grant and improve the administration of the grant.
  • The grant must be kept until basic income support is in place.
  • Implement permanent social assistance for those aged 18 to 59 with little to no income, valued at the upper-bound poverty line of R1,268.00 a month.
  • Ensure the above provisions apply to refugees, permanent residents, asylum seekers and migrant workers with special permits, and
  • Work towards a universal basic income grant.

“Time is running out for the SRD (social relief distress) grant, but our leaders are feeling the pressure. Finance Minister Mboweni and the national Treasury are already under fire for delivering an anti-poor austerity budget. We can’t let them cut the SRD grant too,” reads the statement.