Johannesburg - Applications for the Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants will open this Friday, and payments are expected to be made at the end of August, says Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.
The government announced that it set aside R27bn for the payment of R350 social relief of distress grants to eligible and unemployed people.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Zulu said she was “very happy” after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reintroduction of the grant, following the ongoing lockdown restrictions and recent crippling unrest.
Zulu emphasised that although South Africans may have previously received the grant, they must reapply to receive the grant again, as no one will “automatically qualify”.
Zulu said in order to enable government to assess an applicant’s eligibility, all applications will be treated as new applications every month. However, each applicant needs to only apply once.
The applications shall be considered from the month of application, and paid up to March 31, 2022, provided the qualifying criteria continue to be met. This requirement will be confirmed through the monthly validations of every application.
Sassa is expected to pay the Special Covid-9 SRD grant into a bank account of the beneficiary. Where applicants are unbanked or do not have bank accounts, Sassa will pay through the SA Post Office or a Bank Mobile Money Transfers (cash send).
Zulu said the bank account or the cellular phone number provided for payment must be registered in the name of the approved applicant for the grant, to ensure that payment goes to the correct recipients.
She emphasised that only those who meet the criteria and have no financial support from any source should apply for this grant. This includes caregivers who are not receiving any grant on their own behalf.
“We have taken note that the majority of the previous applications were paid to males between the ages of 18 to 35. This was due to the fact that we did not change the eligibility criteria for the R350 grant after the expiry of the caregivers’ grant. This resulted in a gender imbalance wherein the caregiver grant, which was accessed primarily by women, expired in October 2020, whereas the R350 grant, which was accessed primarily by men, was extended until April 2021,” she said.
The criteria are as follows:
(a) A South African Citizen, Permanent Resident or Refugee registered on the Home Affairs database and persons who are holders of special permits under the Special Angolan Dispensation, the Lesotho Exemption Permit dispensation and the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Dispensation, and asylum seekers whose section 22 permits or visas are valid or were valid on 15 March 2020;
(b) Currently residing within the borders of the Republic of South Africa;
(c) Above the age of 18 and below the age of 60;
(e) Not receiving any social grant in respect of himself or herself;
(f) Not receiving an unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive an unemployment insurance benefit;
(g) Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and other financial aid;
(h) Not receiving any other government Covid-19 response support; and
(i) Not a resident in a government-funded or subsidised institution.
All applications will be done electronically via the following methods:
Via the website https://srd.sassa.gov.za or WhatsApp on 082 046 8553
Confirmation will be received as soon as the application has been successfully submitted. For all other queries, applicants may contact the call centre on 0800 60 10 11 or email [email protected]
Zulu said additional application channels would be added and announcements made in due course.