Sassa R350 Grant News Update

Sassa news today – The R350 grant is a subsistence allowance to unemployed individuals aged 18-59 years old. The grant is provided based on the principle that everyone should have access to basic human necessities and opportunities in order to live with dignity. The Social Support team is looking at ways that the most vulnerable members of our community can continue to be supported. The aim of this study is to show that South Africa’s alarmingly high unemployment rate, coupled with the high uptake of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, is evidence that there is a lack of social protection available to individuals between the age of 18 and 59 years old.

The SRD grant is a temporary and targeted intervention for unemployed adults of working age. Designed to help people back into employment, the grant will conclude by 2023 with the aim of supporting more people into work.

In an effort to find a permanent solution, The Department of Social Development (DSD) recently launched the Expert Panel Report on Basic Income Support.

The South African government has recently announced its commitment to explore different models of funding a Basic Income Grant (BIG) system. This report is the second of two analyses of a basic system of income support for unemployed adults in South Africa. The first analysis, completed in 2021 examined the social and economic impact of introducing Basic Income Support (BIS) at scale, while the second analysis looked at different funding models for the introduction of basic income grants.

Based on the results of the report, it is possible to implement a grant similar to SRD while protecting economic growth, a balanced budget approach and important redistributive effects. The panel added that the SRD arrangement posed limited economic and fiscal risks and should be made permanent.

Many questions have been raised about how a permanent basic income grant would be funded.

This report calculates the impact of four possible funding models for a universal child allowance in South Africa. This includes an increase in value added tax, an increase in the personal income tax of the top three deciles, a wage subsidy for low earning individuals, and a hybrid module which incorporates a wage subsidy and personal income tax.

The DSD’s Linton Mchunu says South Africa is close to the realisation of a basic income grant. They say the report will guide the department on their approach on how to introduce a basic income grant.

Mchunu says the conversation and debate around a basic income grant has moved from “should and basic income grant be introduced?” to “how can a basic income grant be implemented?”.

The introduction of a basic income grant would have a serious impact on poverty and inequality.

Mchunu says the department has already begun working on a policy document for the possible introduction of a basic income grant. The data gathered in the report will be used by the department to strengthen the policy document.


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