Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Monday that the number of recipients for the R350 social relief of distress dropped to 7.5 million.
The number was more than 10.5 million in the previous cycle.
The substantial drop follows a change in the qualification criteria, with applicants having to go through a R625 means test threshold to qualify for the grant.
The means test means that applicants should earn below R624 in order to qualify for the R350 grant.
Zulu said nearly 7.5 million people are receiving the grant on a monthly basis since additional qualifying criteria were introduced after the extension of the SRD grant until March 2023.
She was speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria where she also gave an update on the distribution of the SRD grant and progress on the child support grant top-up.
Zulu said the department faced challenges during the distribution of the R350 grant.
She said beneficiaries who provided incorrect banking details are part of the reason why reciepients did not receive their money on time.
She urged recipients to ensure that they enter the correct banking details.
“Applicants of the Covid-19 SRD are encouraged not to change their bank details frequently because every change requires that the new account be verified. Once your bank details are loaded and updated, please wait for a response from your bank before changing your details,” she said.
A total of R44 billion has been allocated for the SRD grant.
Zulu said 16,486 beneficiaries are already receiving the child support grant top-up since applications opened in June and encouraged more people to apply.
The basic support grant is R480, but successful applicants can get an additional R240, bringing the total amount to R720 per month.
“The additional R240 to the standard R480 is enabled by a 2015 cabinet approved policy. By ‘top-up’ we mean an additional amount of R240 that supplements the standard child support grant amount of R480.
“Only relatives caring for an orphaned child can apply for and receive the child support grant top-up of R720 per child per month. All caregivers and orphans should know that the child support grant top-up is available at all Sassa offices for them to apply,” said Zulu.
Source: Sowetan Live, Eyewitness News, image from Twitter: @OfficialSASSA