Documented asylum-seekers who have been impacted by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic can now claim for the unemployment relief grant, the North Gauteng High Court ruled on Friday.
File picture: Pixabay
Documented asylum-seekers who have been impacted by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic can now claim for the unemployment relief grant, the North Gauteng High Court ruled on Friday. File picture: Pixabay

Documented asylum-seekers and permit holders legally allowed to claim UIF relief grant

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 19, 2020

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Documented asylum-seekers, who have been impacted by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, can now claim from the unemployment relief grant, the North Gauteng High Court ruled on Friday.

The court gave judgement in a case brought by Cape Town-based NGO Scalabrini Centre in May which sought to ensure that documented asylum-seekers were also allowed to benefit from the unemployment relief grant of R350.

The court ruled that asylum-seekers could not be excluded from the grant being offered to South African citizens.  It has given the government 10 days to make the changes, which should include asylum-seekers.

Those who were documented as asylum-seekers, special permit holders and have no source of income would be legally allowed to apply according to the rules set out by the Department of Social Development.

The rules for the six-month grant; include a person being older than 18 and not receiving any form of government assistance and have a valid SA ID.

The grant payments began in May and for the asylum applicants, they would now be eligible to apply for June.  

Scalabrini said this was a victory for asylum-seekers as the coronavirus does not have borders.

“The coronavirus knows no borders and does not stop to ask for one’s nationality status. Citizens and foreign nationals in South Africa have been seriously impacted by the National State of Disaster and lockdown,” the organisation said.

“At Scalabrini, we have seen a large surge in requests for help; 1,400 people called in the first eight weeks of lock-down requesting assistance with food, rental or electricity. Many of these are families with children who would usually have benefitted from school feeding programmes.”

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