The new iteration of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant will open its channels for applications from 9am on Friday, August 6, with the first payments expected to be made in the final week of the month, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a media briefing on social relief measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic (and recent unrest in the country), Zulu said the allocated R26.7 billion budget will be inclusive of administrative costs borne by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and will run for a period of eight months until March 2022.
“Only those who meet the criteria and have no financial support from any source should apply for this grant,” she stressed.
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“It is also important to emphasise that the previous SRD grant expired on 30 April 2021, and this means that all those who had previously applied must reapply,” she added.
Zulu said that although applicants need only apply once, their eligibility will be assessed and treated as a ‘new’ application every month until the end of the grant period.
The applications will be considered from the month of application and paid up to March 31, 2022, provided the qualifying criteria continue to be met.
An SRD grant of R350 per month as indicated in the directions is payable for the period indicated therein to a person who is:
- 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 March 15, 2020;
- Currently residing within the borders of the Republic of South Africa;
- Above the age of 18 and below the age of 60;
- Not receiving any social grant in respect of himself or herself;
- Not receiving an unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive an unemployment insurance benefit;
- Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and other financial aid;
- Not receiving any other government Covid-19 response support;
- Not a resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.
- Care givers who are not receiving any grant on their own behalf will also be eligible to apply for the special Covid-19 SRD grant.
“It is important to note that there will be no automatic qualification, all applications must satisfy the criteria and will be subjected to the entire validation process,” said Zulu.
Given the monthly validation process, any change to the financial circumstances of the applicant such as their income status may result in the grant not being approved for succeeding months or approved for some months but not all.
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Zulu noted that with regards to payments made during between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, “outstanding payments are in the region of 45 414 [transactions] from applicants whose applications were approved but not paid because they could not be traced or they did not contact Sassa to update their personal details”.
In addition, 571 724 grants that were approved remain uncollected from the post office.
“I urge all applicants who have not received or claimed their grants to urgently contact Sassa as they will only have until 31 August 2021 to make enquiries in respect of the previous grant from May 2020 to April 2021,” Zulu said.
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“I also wish to urge those who have not withdrawn their payments to do so before 31 August 2021. After 31 August, we will not be able to consider any enquiries relating to the previous grant,” she added.
“Any applicant whose application was approved but not paid due to the applicant not being traced or the applicant not contacting Sassa to update his or her personal details, will forfeit the money to the state after 31 August 2021.”
Eligible applicants may apply through the Sassa Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant website here, its WhatsApp line on 082 046 8553 or the USSD line *134*7737#.
Palesa Mofokeng is a Moneyweb intern.