Thousands Of R350 Grant Applicants Have Studied Further

South Africa continues to battle high levels of unemployment with recent reports indicating that a large portion of those who have a tertiary qualification are unable to find jobs and have applied for the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.

The unemployment rate in South Africa is currently at 34.5% which is the highest on a global list of 82 nations monitored by Bloomberg. The country has been ranked as the world’s most unequal nation for which wealth data is available by the Thomas Piketty-backed World Inequality Lab.

Over 50% of unemployed individuals form part of the youth with the government aiming to solve this through funding tertiary education and job creation.

However, statistics have now shown that even those with tertiary qualifications are struggling to find jobs and have applied for the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

It is said that those under the age of 35 accounted for 60% of the R350 grant applications.

The Special Covid-19 R350 SRD grant was first introduced in April 2020 as a government intervention to combat the loss of household income that occurred as a result of unemployment caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.

Half a million applicants for this unemployment grant are people with tertiary education, this totals around 5% of the applications.

This means that they have studied after high school and have a qualification but are unemployed and searching for jobs.

Half of this group stated that since they graduated they have never worked. Some have worked for around three months but have then ended up unemployed again.

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11.4 million people applied for the R350 SRD grant with 40% of the applicants having a grade 12 education. The majority of the applicants were female.

The Department of Social Development is said to be evaluating how they can use this data and collaborate with other departments to make connections and find solutions to youth unemployment.

Sassa’s Executive Manager for Grants Brenton Van Vrede spoke to POWER 98.7 saying that a clause in the R350 grant application states that the applicant must be willing to accept work and be willing to have their data shared by the department with organizations who are offering work. Though the department is still working on making use of the data in this way.

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