The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC ) says vulnerable groups of the population such as children, senior citizens and people with disabilities seemed to be the most affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19.

The SAHRC briefed the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services virtually on Friday in Parliament on its strategic plan for 2020/2021 financial year.

Siyasanga Giyose from the commission told the committee that because of the status in society of these groupings, there is a need for special attention to be given to them during this time.

“In terms of the cross-cutting issues, they will always have a particular impact on marginalised and vulnerable groups including children, older persons, people with disabilities and migrants. So we have to look out on issues of discrimination and how these groups can be catered for.”

Social Relief Distress Grants 

On Friday, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) started paying out some of the R350 Special COVID-19 Social Relief Distress Grants.

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

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.

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

INFOGRAPHIC: SA’s COVID-19 stimulus package: