So much for Sassa’s offer of a Covid-19 grant of R350 for the poor. At least one impoverished applicant who looked forward to this has been turned down on grounds of being, well, not poor enough. So, how poor does one have to be to get this grant, wonders Linza de Jager.
A struggling artist had her application for the Covid-19 grant turned down via a curt SMS this week. “Your application for SASSA COVID 19 SRD Grant is declined. You currently have income from other sources” the SMS stated.
A rude and uncouth SMS
Does one need to mention that the SMS sounds rude? And that the writer of the SMS should be packed off to finishing school to learn the finer art of letting people down? Let’s not bother with that now. We’ll only waste our energy. The applicant, who wants to remain anonymous for reasons that don’t need explaining (think pride, guys) says that she has been eking out a living as an artist. She lives with a friend and depends on him for food and board. She considers herself to be authentically poor. And rightly so.
She only sold one artwork last year. She made R2000 on that occasion. It’s pathetic. It’s also a real turn-off from Bohemia. Prospective artists, take note.
The minimum wage in South Africa is about R3300 per month. It goes without saying that this is not a nanny state. But surely a temporary grant of R350 could have been extended to this woman. No one in his right mind will claim to be so poor if he is not. Sassa should not raise hopes during the worst of times and then dash them. Shame on you, Sassa.