Black Sash to take legal action over means test for R350 grant

Black Sash to take legal action over means test for R350 grant

Human Rights group Black Sash will approach the courts to overturn the R350 means test for the Social Relief of Distress grant. 

Black Sash

The organisation briefed the media on Thursday about its plan to overturn government regulations that exclude some of the poorest South Africans from accessing the monthly grant of R350.

The campaign is endorsed by more than 30 organisation, including the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Albert Luthuli Human Rights Advice Centre, Section 27 and Right2Know.

The Social Relief of Distress grant was introduced in 2020 to help unemployed and poor people who were impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Black Sash’s Rachel Bukasa says the organisation wants government to pay everyone who has been excluded up until now.

“The Black Sash asks that the court should order that the significant number of poor and vulnerable people who did not receive their Covid-19 SRD grants as a result of the unlawful requirements in the SAA Regulations, should receive payment of the Covid-19 SRD grants for the months they did not receive it from when beneficiaries that previously qualified last received their Covid-19 SRD grants to the date of the order of this court.

“The payments should be made with interest as the prescribed legal rate of 7.25% per annum. This would be a just and appropriate remedy in the circumstances and would not place an undue burden on the state in the light of the low value of the grants the beneficiaries would be obtained.”

Bukasa says the government should continue to provide income support for those with no or little income even after the end of the R350 grant.

“Now more than ever this is important, as we face deepening levels of unemployment and other effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Mzansi households already burdened with hunger. We demand that the government should implement permanent social assistance for those aged 18 to 59 valued at the upper-bound poverty line.”


Listen to more local news below Jacaranda
Jacaranda FM

Show's Stories