Treasury applying additional criteria to determine eligibility for R350 grant

On Friday, Treasury announced the introduction of two new criteria in order to tighten the screws on those cheating the system.

Picture: © zakspeed271/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - National Treasury says it’s cleaning up the social relief of distress grant database to prevent double-dipping.

It’s been explaining in Parliament why it’s reduced the budget allocation for the R350 grant, which was initially introduced in 2020 to cushion the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced another extension until March 2025.

On Friday, Treasury announced the introduction of two new criteria in order to tighten the screws on those cheating the system.

Treasury has allocated more than R30 billion in each of the next two financial years to allow for the continued payment of the social relief of distress grant until government takes a policy position on whether to make it a permanent basic income grant.

However, deputy director-general of public finance, Mampho Modise, said that reducing the grant allocation in this fiscal year from R44 billion to R35 billion was not intended to kick people out of the system.

"This was just to make sure that we do not give a grant to people who are working, who have an income but they use different bank accounts to try and get additional funding."

Treasury is now applying additional measures to determine eligibility for the grant.

"If you have an amount of R670 in your bank account, then you do not qualify for the social relief of distress grant, and we also look at the people who have multiple bank accounts."

Modise said applicants would have to continue re-applying for the grant every three months to check whether they have not been employed in the interim.