Lindiwe Zulu, Minister for Social Development has gazetted the regulation to raise the income threshold for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant when concerns were raised over the low applicant approval rate figures.
The change increases the income threshold for the means test from R350 to R624 per month, which is the food poverty line that was set by Stats SA in September 2021.
Formerly, any Sassa SRD applicant who earned more than R350 per month would not have qualified to receive the grant.
This means that more people will now quality for the grant and that anyone with a monthly income that exceeds R624 a month will not qualify for the grant.
But, a lot of applicants misunderstood what was meant by the increase in income threshold, since the announcement thinking that the payment amount for the grant itself would be increasing to R624 per person.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) explained that the change in threshold does not mean beneficiaries will receive more money and have stated that the SRD payment amount currently remains R350 per person, for each month they qualify for.
Applicants who have an inflow of funds in their bank accounts of less than R624 qualify to receive the grant with effect from August 2022.
While many have expressed that the increase in threshold should be extended further as many people earning just over R624 are still in need of the grant but do not qualify, Sassa says the uptake of the grant is seeing major improvements.
According to Sassa, the number of approved applicants has already increased since the increase in the threshold was made, as the agency received just fewer than 12-million applications after the changes.
Any applicants whose applications are still being rejected are encouraged to lodge an appeal for further consideration which will decide where Sassa rejected their application incorrectly.