Millions apply for R350 social relief grant

Minister Lindiwe Zulu Image GCIS.

Over 3.5 mil­lion peo­ple have applied for the new spe­cial COVID-19 Social Relief of Dis­tress (SRD) Grant-with­in three days of the sys­tem going live. “The spe­cial COVID-19 SRD Grant is intend­ed to mit­i­gate the undue hard­ships faced by indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies through this tough time.

We are pleased with the intake so far and we urge all eli­gi­ble indi­vid­u­als to apply on time,” Min­is­ter of Social Devel­op­ment Lindi­we Zulu said on Thurs­day.

The South African Social Secu­ri­ty Agency (SASSA) start­ed tak­ing nation­wide appli­ca­tions for the grant on Mon­day.

“As of Fri­day, 3 585 040 appli­ca­tions were received. Of this, the largest num­ber of 2 394 949 appli­ca­tions were made using the USSD (SMS) line, 204 434 on the web­site, 485 657 on What­sApp and 500 00 were on email,” said the Depart­ment of Social Devel­op­ment (DSD).

Appli­ca­tions are cur­rent­ly being assessed and ver­i­fied

Those eli­gi­ble will be noti­fied and will start to receive their first pay­ment of the six-month Spe­cial Covid19 SRD Grant of R350 by Friday–15 May.

“The grant is imple­ment­ed in terms of the exist­ing avenue pro­vid­ed for by the SRD chan­nel, which is admin­is­tered in accor­dance with the pro­vi­sions as set in the Social Assis­tance Act, 2004.

The Depart­ment wish­es to stress that the first pay­ment file was meant for test­ing.

When the pay­ment sys­tem is finalised, more reg­u­lar pay­ments will be made,” said the DSD.

Once an appli­ca­tion has been approved, the SASSA will ask for bank­ing details.

Those who have not been asked for bank­ing details must know that they are not going to be paid.

The depart­ment has appealed to peo­ple to wait to be con­tact­ed and not vis­it SASSA offices.

“Once again, we appeal to those already receiv­ing social grants not to apply as they are not eli­gi­ble for the Spe­cial Covid-19 SRD Grant.

It is only meant to ben­e­fit per­sons who are cur­rent­ly not receiv­ing any form of income sup­port from gov­ern­ment,” the Min­is­ter said.

Peo­ple can apply in one of three ways, name­ly:

  • What­sApp line: 082 046 8553
  • USSD or SMS line: *134*7737#
  • Online:

An appli­cant must be a South African cit­i­zen, per­ma­nent res­i­dent or refugee who is reg­is­tered on the Home Affairs sys­tem and is a res­i­dent with­in the bor­ders of the Repub­lic of South Africa.

“To ensure that the infor­ma­tion sys­tem is not clogged, we appeal to all appli­cants not to upload any form of doc­u­men­ta­tion on the appli­ca­tion,” Zulu said.

The depart­ment will con­tin­u­ous­ly share infor­ma­tion on devel­op­ments across all plat­forms.  –

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President Cyril Ramaphosa GCIS.

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