Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says more than 517 000 applications for the R350 social relief grant, that were previously approved, are yet to be collected from the SA Post Office.

She has urged applicants who have not claimed or received their payments to urgently contact SASSA. Zulu says the applications for the reinstated R350 social relief grant will be open from Friday.

People will have to re-apply for the grant.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the grant will be paid out until March next year and will now include unemployed caregivers.

Ramaphosa said R27 billion had been set aside for this purpose.

Zulu addressed the media in Pretoria earlier:

She says applicants with unclaimed payments from earlier have until the end of this month to get their cash.

“I also wish to urge those who have not withdrawn payments to do so before the 31st of August 2021 because any applicant whose application was approved but not paid because the applicant could not be traced or the applicant did not contact SASSA to update, they will forfeit the money to the state after the 31st of August 2021.”

Post Office plans for roll out of grant:

The Post Office says it has started preparing logistics for the return of the R350 COVID-19 social relief grant despite a number of branches being affected by the recent looting and violence in some parts of the country.

The Post Office says 51 branches in KwaZulu-Natal and 24 in Gauteng were affected. It says that it is prepared to extend working hours and increase pay points to ensure that beneficiaries access their grants.

CEO of the South African Post Office Nomkitha Mona says a date is yet to be set for the disbursement of the grant.

“We’ve also been in talks with some of our stakeholders to engage with us because we are going to need a lot more pay points because there’s no Post Office to speak of in some areas. So where we can work in a vandalised Post Office, we will work, because we’re currently working manually. But we’re also trying to get them to our sites, so we want to pay people as close as possible,” says Mona.