How many People are on the R350 Grant in South Africa?

The special R350 social relief distress grant was introduced by the South African government in 2020 to assist citizens facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially meant as short-term relief, the grant has now been extended to March 2024 to continue providing support to vulnerable groups. But how many South Africans currently depend on this grant?

Over 27 Million Beneficiaries Receiving SASSA Grants

According to statistics shared in October 2022, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) pays over 27 million beneficiaries monthly. This accounts for around 45% of the country’s total population.

The number includes recipients of established social grants like the child support, disability, and old age pensions. It also includes those getting the special R350 grant.

Sassa confirmed that the total number of all social grants in payment increased from 18.7 million in March 2022 to 18.8 million in March 2023. This highlights the country’s ongoing reliance on social assistance.

R350 Covid Grant Reaching 8.5 Million Beneficiaries

When it comes to the R350 grant specifically, recent figures indicate that an average of 8.5 million applicants have been receiving the relief each month.

Initially, the grant was only meant for unemployed South Africans with no other source of income. Later, eligibility criteria expanded to include other vulnerable groups like students and pensioners.

The high unemployment rate of nearly 33% has increased demand for the R350 grant across the country. While precise beneficiary numbers fluctuate each month, the latest stats signal that over 8 million people depend on it.

R350 Grant Budget Allocation – Over R30 Billion

An expenditure of R30.2 billion was set aside for the R350 grant for the 2022/2023 financial year. The monthly payout rate remained at R350 per person for this period.

However, not all approved beneficiaries receive payouts on time each month. Payment delays and glitches mean the final amount spent on the grant may exceed the R30 billion budget.

Overall, the grant clearly provides a lifeline to millions facing financial uncertainty. The high beneficiary numbers highlight South Africa’s ongoing socioeconomic challenges.

Total SASSA Budget – R200 Billion on Social Grants

Looking at Sassa’s budget for all social grants, the numbers are massive.

The agency was allocated around R200 billion rand for grant payments from April 2022 to March 2023. This huge budget signals just how many citizens across South Africa now depend on social assistance.

Sassa confirmed that South Africa now has close to 19 million citizens surviving on permanent government social grants. This costs taxpayers over R200 billion per year.

When combined with the over 8 million receiving R350 Covid funds, this means social grants are supporting over 27 million South Africans. That is close to 45% of the population.

The expansion of eligibility for grants like the R350 is aimed at assisting vulnerable groups during the ongoing economic crisis. But many experts worry about the country’s growing dependence on social welfare.

Providing grants to those in need remains crucial. However, long-term solutions like job creation are still required to improve South Africa’s socioeconomic conditions.

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