20 April 2023 - NW1077
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Social Development
Whether proper consideration has been given to the proposal by the Institute for Economic Justice and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA that the Social Relief of Distress grant be increased to a minimum of R413 in line with inflation, considering that the cost of living has risen substantially since the R350 grant was first introduced in 2020; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
Yes. The Department is concerned that since the inception of the COVID-19 SRD (cSRD) the value of the grant has never increased resulting in the purchasing power of the grant diminishing and not keeping pace with inflation. Food inflation is likely to increase the vulnerability of the poor and further compounding the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The research and modelling work conducted by the Department in 2021 and 2022 supported a proposal to increase the value of the provision. Subsequently, the Department made a request to National Treasury for an inflationary increase to the value of the grant from R350 to R420 with the next iteration (2023/24), but the proposal was not approved by the National Treasury. The Department will continuously engage with the National Treasury to consider the inflationary increase to the cSRD grant.
It must be understood that DSD is implementing a decision of government as announced by the President during SONA in February 2023 based on the resources that have been allocated by NT.