File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Covid-19 lockdown: Sassa warns against fake news about food parcels in KZN

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 11, 2020

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Durban - During the national lockdown period there are a lot of people who are desperate for government assistance and require food parcels.

There is also a lot of fake news circulating about who qualifies, how to get help and unfortunately these fake messages have incorrect contact details for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Call Centre numbers. 

Due to challenges to get through the Sassa national Toll Free Number: 0800 60 10 11. The Sassa KZN region has 2 dedicated numbers for applications/requests for food parcels with skeleton staff at the Call Centre to assist during the national lockdown. 

Sassa will issue Social Relief of Distress (SRD) in the form of food parcels as a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such dire need that they are unable to meet their or their families’ most basic needs.

SRD is paid to South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees who have insufficient means. This is the criteria for those who can qualify:

  • Those receiving temporary disability grants that lapsed in March 2020;  
  • Those who have had disasters in their communities such as floods and fires as defined in the Disaster Management Act, 1978;  
  • If a breadwinner in the family has passed on and application is made within 12 months of date of death;  
  • If everyone in a household is unemployed and needs government assistance in the form of food parcels;  Child headed household;  
  • If you cannot work for medical reasons for a period of six months.

An appeal is made to everyone who might know of someone in dire need of assistance of SRD to not hesitate, but approach Sassa for assistance. The food parcels are provided in line with the SRD Programme in terms of the Social Assistance Act, 2004 and all beneficiaries should meet the legislated criteria.

Members of the public are to disregard the messages circulating on social media and to ignore the SRD form that has been circulating on social media as it is not an official Sassa SRD application form. Our offices are closed during the national lock down period and during the Easter Weekend therefore there is no need for completion of any SRD form.

SRD applications may be taken without personal contact with the applicant, in terms of a Ministerial Directive. The process to be followed is as follows: Referrals or requests are to include name, identity number, physical address, contact number and short reason for the request.

Sassa KZN contact details for food parcel applications:

  1. Sassa KZN Regional Office: 033 846 3400 
  2. Sassa KZN What’s App (sms only): 0716071514 

Both these lines will only be accessible next week Tuesday, 14 April 2020, due to the Easter weekend.

IOL

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