Increase in Social Relief of Distress Grant

The Social Policy Initiative welcomes the announcement by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, on Wednesday 13 March 2024 in Parliament, on the increase of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant. The SRD Grant will increase by R20 and go from R350 to R370 per month, effective 1 April 2024. This after the Minister during his February Budget Speech address pledged to extend and improve the grant. However, the grant has lost R89 in value since 2021. This means the grant should be at R459 to adequately account for inflation. The R20 increase is not adequate to compensate for the lost value and bring it on par with real prices.

Around 26 million people in South Africa receive social grants, and of this figure, approximately 9 million unemployed adults receive the SRD Grant. This means over 9 million adult South Africans do not have enough money to keep up with rising food and transport costs as well as other necessities. Yet, there are currently 12 million unemployed people in South Africa. The increase and improvement of the SRD Grant is said to be the next step to support this group of people to meet their basic needs and to a life of dignity. However, the proposed increase is not enough to speak to the magnitude and level of structural unemployment that millions still face.

A report conducted by SPI on a decent standard of living highlights the disconnect between grant levels against individual and household well-being. The report postulates that for 2023, a decent standard of living amounted to R6 034 and finds that grants do not measure up to the Upper Bound Poverty Line (UBPL) of R1558, per month.

We call on the minister to use this time to commit to a Universal Basic Income of R1500 to meet the basic needs of everyone and stimulate the ailing economy. The State has an obligation to ensure a life of dignity to all, guaranteed by the Constitution. We therefore urge the government to align its policies and implementation, especially against the backdrop of the ANC’s commitment to introducing a Basic Income Grant.




Moses Kas, Head of Communications | 0840658158