By Nonhlanhla Nozizwe Hlatshwayo for IOL
Advocacy group Black Sash has welcomed the reinstatement of the Covid-19 social relief of distress grant (SRD) and called on the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) to ensure it is implemented more effectively.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday night that the grant will be reinstated until March next year. He said caregivers who are receiving the child support grant are also eligible.
Black Sash said Sassa should ensure this by urgently attending to the grant’s numerous administrative inefficiencies.
“Sassa must improve the grant’s application systems, appeals, payment processes with quicker turnaround times and develop a more effective communication strategy with applicants and beneficiaries,” they said.
Black Sash also raised concerns that the grant was not increased to at least the Food Poverty Line which is R585 a month.
“We will continue to advocate for permanent social assistance for the unemployed pegged at the Upper Bound Poverty Line, currently R1 268, while working towards a universal basic income as our ultimate goal.
“Given the country’s structural unemployment crisis, the Black Sash has repeatedly said that job creation programmes must be complemented with income support measures and a more comprehensive social security programme,” they said.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) also welcomed the announcement.
“We note the reinstatement of the SRD grant, which will help millions of South Africans worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the party said.