Context and Evolution of SRD Grants
SRD Increased : In the 2021 fiscal year, the Department of Social Development (DSD) allocated R44 billion monthly to assist 11 million beneficiaries. However, the initial uptake of the grant in April 2022 was slow, initially serving only 5 million beneficiaries, gradually increasing to 7.5 million per month.
Challenge with Reallocation of Funds
Despite the slow uptake, the National Treasury denied the repurposing of allocated funds for other purposes, resisting the DSD’s request due to fiscal constraints and the necessity to allocate funds to other departments. This refusal impacted subsequent budget adjustments and reallocations.
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September 2022 Adjustments and Fiscal Constraints
During September 2022, the DSD revised the estimates for the SRD grant, reducing it by R6 billion. Simultaneously, the National Treasury withdrew R3.7 billion due to fiscal limitations, prompting an appeal from the DSD. However, the appeal was declined, resulting in a return of R9.7 billion to the fiscus.
Evolution of the SRD Grant : SRD Increased
Originally introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SRD grant aimed to aid unemployed individuals affected by the lockdown. Acknowledging its widespread implementation during the pandemic, the DSD sought to continue the grant in a fiscally sustainable manner, tightening the qualification criteria to target the most vulnerable individuals. This measure was taken following instructions given to the DSD.
Minister’s Encouragement and Conclusion
Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, urged effective utilization of the R350 grant, encouraging positive changes in beneficiaries’ lives. The evolution of the grant and the strategic changes implemented underscore the government’s commitment to supporting those in need while ensuring fiscal responsibility and sustainability.