Special Covid Grant Will Be Run By Phone

Sassa's CEO, Busisiwe Memela, spoke to Cape Talk this afternoon to give the public further details on the R350 relief fund that Sassa would soon be offering. There was also an update on the 27th April about the testing for this new system.

Update: Over the long weekend SASSA completed testing of the SSD and Whatsapp service for applying for the new R350 special grant. They are confident that this is an easy and straightforward process and will allow people to easily make applications for this special grant. We are expecting the Minister to make an announcement this week on when the application number will be open for people to apply. The Minister is expected to make this announcement within the next few days and full details will be published on the Careers Portal as soon as the information is available.

Sassa is there to provide social grants to people who are “vulnerable to poverty and in need of state support” so that their standard of living can be improved. The current state of South Africa and the impact lockdown has had on the economy and employment in the country, many people have had their standard of living be significantly decreased while a major loss of jobs has also been seen. 

Earlier in the week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced to the nation that R500 billion will be used for grants and funding to account for the effects of the National Lockdown. One of these relief strategies is that of a sum of R350 being given to people who are unemployed and have no access to other grants, which could possibly account for millions of individuals. This grant will be distributed for a period of six months.

Some have said that it is impossible for someone to live off of R350 per month. If you do your calculations, that would amount to R12 per day which is basically the price of a loaf of bread. It's also important to note that it is not R350 per household but rather R350 for any person who is eligible to receive it.

What are the requirements to receive this grant?

  • You must be unemployed
  • You must not be receiving any other grants (eg. child support, NSFAS, pension, etc.) 
  • You must not be receiving fund from the UIF
  • You must be a South African/Registered refugee/Foreign nationals with permits

How do you register?

  1. Registration will be able to be done through the use of SSD or WhatsApp.
    • The WhatsApp number will be announced and available by the start of the week of 27 April 2020.
  2. You will have to indicate whether you match the criteria specified above.
  3. Thereafter, they will check if the information you gave is true on their database and the system will then confirm whether you qualify or not.

It is being predicted that the first payments will be made by the beginning of May. Three processes will be used to do issue payments:

  • eVouchers
  • Mobile money transfers
  • Bank accounts

Sassa is working with civil society through NGOs in communities to find ways that will be able to assist individuals who do not have access to devices to apply and register. 

Sassa offices are currently closed due to the lockdown. However, they will gradually start opening offices from 4 May 2020. 

Further details will be published as they arrive. 

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