‘COVID-19 social relief grant ready for implementation’

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The application process for a special COVID-19 Social Relief Distress grant will kick off on Monday.

Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, will launch the opening of the process.

The social development portfolio, comprised of the Department of Social Development, the National Development Agency and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), says that the grant has passed the final stage of development and is ready for implementation.

In the video below, SASSA says millions of South Africans are applying for the relief grant of R350:

The criteria for the grant application is scheduled to be gazetted on Saturday.

The WhatsApp and related electronic application options are expected to go live on Monday and will be demonstrated by Zulu at the media launch.

Minister Zulu will present a comprehensive report on the matter to the National Coordinating Council on Sunday, 10 May 2020.

The grant was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of government’s efforts to cushion the poor from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is an infographic with information on who qualifies for the grant:

Minister Zulu has thanked the public for its patience with the process.

“SASSA has been rightfully inundated with enquiries from the public about the process of application and the public must be thanked for its patience during these difficult times. SASSA had to ensure that it puts all the required controls in place to ensure that the grant is only accessed by deserving and qualifying individuals. There was also a need to ensure that these issues are contained in a legal document in the form of a Government Gazette. In the process of developing the required technology, a new number has been secured for applications and the Minister will detail how it will work,” the Minister said in a statement.

The Social Development Department says it has received 15 000 applications through the WhatsApp platform. All qualifying applications are expected to be processed on 15 May and applicants without smartphones will be contacted through SMSes.

SASSA has cautioned applicants not to provide their banking details to avoid being scammed.

“Applicants are cautioned not to provide their banking details to anyone to avoid scams. SASSA will only request information once the application has been approved. All beneficiaries and applicants should never give their PIN number or the CVV number on the back of the banking card to anyone, not even SASSA. Once applications are approved, SASSA will request confirmation of bank accounts though a secure site. This will also be done electronically. Applicants have the right to request confirmation that a request is from SASSA in order to protect themselves. Payment will be effected through deposits made directly into an approved applicant’s bank account if they have one. Applicants without bank accounts can also apply and their payment will be effected through a money transfer.”

SASSA says it will verify all information received from applicants.

Below is the Social Development Department’s statement on this: