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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

R350 Sassa COVID-19 social relief grant now open. Here is how to apply

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Applications for the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) COVID-19 social relief grant formally opened on Monday, 11 May, although Sassa said it had already received a quarter of a million applications via email, and nearly 100,000 in an early WhatsApp test.

Unemployed individuals interested in applying for the R350 social relief grant will only qualify if they do not receive other social grants provided by the government, said Sassa chief executive Busisiwe Memela Khambula.

Memela-Khambula said on Monday Sassa was ready to receive applications for the distress social relief grant which was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa over a week ago.

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Memela-Khambula and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said when the Sassa pilot project for the social relief grant was launched two weeks ago, of the 100 000 applications received, 50% were from people who already received some form of assistance from the government. A total of 57 000 applicants were successful in the pilot stage.

Memela-Khambula said it was important for people to note only those who received no form of assistance from the government would be paid out an R350 grant. If you received a child grant, NSFAS funding or UIF benefit, your application would be rejected if you applied for the social relief grant.

How to apply

Applications can be done by sending a message via:

  1. WhatsApp to 082 046 8553
  2. Email to SRD@sassa.gov.za, which automatically sends back a form to fill in
  3. A USSD code, by dialling *134*7737# from a cellphone

R350 Sassa COVID-19 social relief grant now open. Here is how to apply

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Sassa hinted that applications will also be available via Facebook Messenger, SMS and on its website, srd.sassa.gov.za but
did not provide details.

Memela-Khambula said fraud checking mechanisms were in place for the payment system. Applicants could have their applications rejected if they use a recently changed number. This is because the system will try to match the cellphone number provided by an applicant against other government databases.

The department had previously said proof of residence was required for the application process, but this had now been changed. Applicants would only need to provide an address.

Sassa also confirmed that recipients without bank accounts will have a choice of banks from which to get cash via an ATM.

Those systems, such as eWallet for First National Bank and CashSend for Absa, require only details sent to a cellphone number to withdraw money, with no card or other identity verification required.

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Sassa said they had plans to send its beneficiaries store vouchers that can be directly used to buy food instead of cash. However, those systems are not yet in place.

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