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Letters to President Ramaphosa on government’s failure to pay Social Relief of Distress grants

On 22 June 2022 and 23 June 2022 the two letters below were sent to President Ramaphosa and staff in the Presidency. Both letters are in regard to the ongoing failure by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to facilitate and implement the payment of the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants.

The first of the two letters was sent by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) on behalf of the Institute for Economic Justice. This was a letter of demand for “an undertaking from DSD and SASSA that, in accordance with their previous public undertakings, all SRD grants for the months of April, May and June 2022 will be paid by 30 June 2022 at the latest.” The letter stated that the IEJ remains open to engaging constructively with government regarding ways to expedite the payment of grants.

It is in this spirit that the second of two letters was sent. Authored by IEJ Senior Policy Specialist, Neil Coleman, this correspondence clearly set out proposed steps DSD and SASSA could take to expedite the payment of grants as a matter of urgency.