The COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant comes to an end on Friday. Civic groups, Black Sash and #PayTheGrants, will be embarking on a nationwide protest on Friday against the grant’s termination.

Representatives from faith-based organisations and trade unions will also take part in the pickets. They are demanding that government extend the COVID-19 SRD grant until it is turned into a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). They also want it increased to the Food Poverty Line and expanded to unemployed adults who are receiving the Child Support Grant on behalf of children.

Demonstrations are scheduled to begin from 8:30am.

Social Development Minister has also reportedly requested Treasury for the grant’s extension.

Last week, Black Sash picketed outside her offices in Pretoria:

No new applications 

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) distributes the cash. It has reminded beneficiaries that it won’t be accepting new applications after Friday.

However, clients who had their applications declined from February to April can appeal the decision. They are encouraged to do so on and follow links for reconsideration.

The appeal period ends on 31 May.

The end of the grant and calls for its extension come as South Africans continue to feel the COVID-19 pinch.

An Ipsos survey has recently found that almost 50% of SA households have gone without food due to the pandemic as companies closed shop and/or scaled down operations.

Operation Hunger’s Sandy Bukula weighs in on the findings: 

Currently 32.5% of South Africans are without jobs.