COSATU welcomes the proposed extension of the SRD Grant to March 2025

15 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes government’s announced of its intension to extend the Special Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant for an additional year until March 2025.  This will provide comfort for 8 million unemployed persons who have been receiving this critical poverty alleviation support.  Whilst the SRD Grant has experienced many challenges and limitations, it has provided an invaluable source of relief for 8 million persons without a source of income and has laid the foundation for the long sought Basic Income Grant.

Though this announcement by the Department of Social Development is positive, we are disappointed that the monetary amount of the SRD Grant has not been adjusted once for inflation since it was introduced in 2020.  This is nothing short of scandalous, more so when the Members of Cabinet and Parliament who pass the Budget, have received increases to their very comfortable packages.

COSATU hopes the commitment by the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to extend and increase the SRD Grant in last week’s State of the Nation Address will be honoured by government and see the SRD Grant increased in the April 2024/25 Budget to recover value lost to inflation since 2020 and a path be set for it to be raised to the Food Poverty Line in the November 2024’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

We appreciate the fiscal constraints facing the state, however we need to do more to cushion the poor who have been decimated by the rising cost of living and struggle to find work in an anaemic economy with a 41% unemployment rate.  The Budget at R2 trillion can afford to increase the SRD Grant to meet these objectives as it currently costs less than 1.5% of total expenditure yet reaches over 15% of society.  The money spent on the SRD Grant is not lost as it is spent in the local economy, stimulating growth and much of it is recovered through VAT and other taxes.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687