SASSA SRD R350 Grant Extended Until March 2025 Latest Update

The latest update from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) reveals that the much-needed Social Relief of Distress SRD R350 grant extended until March 2025. This extension comes as a significant relief for many individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.

srd r350 grant extended

Enoch Godongwana, the finance minister of South Africa, revealed the extension of the SASSA SRD R350 grant for an additional year until March 2025, with a budget allocation of R34 billion. This announcement was made during the National Treasury’s Medium-Term Budget Policy (MTBP) on November 2nd, 2023.

When and Why Was the SRD R350 Grant Initiated

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the South African government introduced the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) program. As the pandemic swept across the globe, leaving millions affected, South Africa faced similar challenges. Businesses shuttered, unemployment soared, and families grappled with financial strain.
Recognizing the urgency, the government launched the SRD R350 grant, providing financial assistance to those who lost jobs or struggled to make ends meet. Now, even after the pandemic has subsided, the SRD grant continues to play a crucial role. Many South Africans still confront significant hardships; grant is a lifeline for them, offering essential funds for food, basic necessities, and stability in the face of ongoing adversity.

SRD R350 Grant Extended Until March 2025

The SRD R350 grant, which was set to end in 2024 , has now been extended for an additional period until March 2025. This extension aims to offer continued assistance to those relying on this financial aid to meet their basic needs and cope with the impact of the ongoing economic downturn.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced that a substantial amount of R34 billion has been allocated to fund the extension of the SRD R350 grant until March 2025. This financial commitment underscores the government’s recognition of the important role this grant plays in supporting the most vulnerable members of society. Let’s break down the details:

1.  R350 Relief Grant Extension

  • The R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant has been extended for another year until March 2025.
  • Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced this extension during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.
  • The grant was originally introduced in May 2020 to assist low-income individuals impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns. It has been extended multiple times, and now it will continue until 2025.

2.  Budget Adjustments

  • National Treasury is reducing government spending due to a growing budget gap.
  • Spending has been revised down by R21 billion in the current financial year.
  • Further reductions of R64 billion in 2024/25 and R69 billion in 2025/26 are proposed. These adjustments will be partially offset by implementing cost containment guidelines and control measures.

3.  Strategic Allocation

  • Despite the cuts, the government will allocate funds to personnel-heavy sectors like Health, Education, and Police Services.
  • Additional funding of R24 billion in 2023/24 and R74 billion over the medium term will support wage increases and associated costs in these sectors.

4.  Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant

  • R34 billion is allocated to extend the grant by another year.
  • A comprehensive review of the entire social grant system is ongoing

5. Social Protection Expenditure

  • 61% of consolidated non-interest spending in the 2024 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) is allocated to the social wage.
  • This includes spending on health, education, housing, social protection, transport, employment, and local amenities.
  • South Africa’s social protection expenditure, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), is among the largest in developing countries.

6. Projected Beneficiaries

  • By 2040/41, social assistance beneficiaries (excluding the temporary Covid-19 grant) are projected to increase to 22.5 million.
  • If a similar new grant becomes permanent, beneficiaries could expand from 27.3 million in 2023/24 to 40.4 million in 2040/41.

Future Strategies of the Government for SRD Grant

By considering the role played by the R350 grant in supporting millions of citizens, President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasized its importance as a lifeline for vulnerable South Africans. However, sustaining this grant is a challenge due to the need for consistent funding.

To address this, the government is actively exploring ways to secure long-term funding for the SRD grant. Their commitment remains unwavering, even they face financial constraints.

Additionally, the National Treasury is conducting a comprehensive review of the entire social grant system. This evaluation will inform strategic plans for 2025 and beyond. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has underscored the importance of ensuring the grant’s continuity while maintaining the other fiscal responsibilities.

Specifically, R945.9 billion will be directed toward social protection transfers, which include essential grants such as the old age grant, child support grant, disability grant, and the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant. South Africa’s social protection expenditure, measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), ranks among the highest in developing countries.

Looking ahead, projections indicate that by 2040/41, the number of social assistance beneficiaries (excluding the temporary COVID-19 relief grant) will surge to 22.5 million. Consequently, sustained spending on social grants will amount to 3% of GDP annually.   This commitment reflects South Africa’s dedication to supporting vulnerable populations and ensuring their well-being.

In the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), it was emphasized that the government currently lacks the necessary resources for a long-term commitment. However, before fully implementing the Basic Income Grant, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, has expressed her intention to seek Cabinet approval for the proposed policy. Additionally, there are ongoing plans to extend the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) subsidy for unemployed individuals until 2026

Is the SASSA SRD R350 Grant Amount Also Increasing

According to input from unions and civil society, an increase in the SRD stipend could provide support to individuals who were previously not part of the labor market. Despite pressure from these groups advocating for a higher award, Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced that the SRD grant will remain at R350 and will be extended until the end of March 2025.

Is the SASSA SRD R350 Grant Amount Also Increasing

In October 2023, while other grants saw increments, the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, commonly known as the R350 grant, remained unchanged. The future of the grant poses an ongoing fiscal challenge, with an annual cost of R36 billion to the fiscus. The government acknowledges that the medium-term extension serves as a temporary solution following their comprehensive examination of the entire social grant system.


The R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant has been extended until March 2025. Originally introduced in May 2020 to assist low-income individuals affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, this grant has been a crucial lifeline for many. Despite budget adjustments and cost containment measures, the government recognizes the importance of continued support for vulnerable citizens, especially during challenging times. The extension aims to provide ongoing relief and stability to those in need.

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