The Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it will begin paying out some of the R350 Special COVID-19 Social Relief Distress Grants from Friday.

New applicants can send a message to the SASSA WhatsApp number on 082 046 8553, send an SMS to *134*7737# – or e-mail SRD@sassa.gov.za.

Applicants must be over 18 and not be receiving any other government grants or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme allowance.

Some three million South Africans have already applied for the grant, which will be paid for the next six months.

Sassa CEO, Busisiwe Memela-Khambula says, “We will now focus on the banking details so we can ensure that most of them can get paid tomorrow (Friday). When you put your application through, you need to indicate your name and surname according to how it appears in your ID so we can verify with Home Affairs. So there is no need to load a copy of your ID, bank statements, and proof of address – all that documentation is not required.”

In the video below, Sassa CEO, Busisiwe Memela-Khambula unpacks the grant:

EFF welcomes increase in social grants

Last month, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the increase of social grants would go a long way in mitigating poverty and starvation suffered by the majority of people in the country, particularly black people.

The EFF’s comment came after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his R500 billion stimulus package in April to help the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. He outlined that child support grant beneficiaries will receive an additional R300 at the end of April; and an extra R500 from June to October.

All other grant recipients will get an extra R250 per month for the next six months.

Ramaphosa also announced a special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next six months which will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed.

Party Deputy Leader, Floyd Shivambu called for the temporary increase to be made permanent.

Shivambu says, “In relation to the provision of social grants and basics income grants we are of the view as the EFF that those must be made permanent. We have been saying throughout as the EFF that they must increase social grants for all the poor people. It must be made permanent because the poverty of our people doesn’t only happen now because there’s coronavirus.”

 INFOGRAPHIC: SA’s COVID-19 stimulus package:

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