Covid-19 relief grant beneficiaries await payment

Nodumo Makaza

Some beneficiaries of the R350 special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant have expressed disappointment at the application system which was recently launched by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

  More than 3.5 million people have applied for the SRD grant, and some are still waiting for their grants. The grant is meant to help those facing hard times during these unprecedented times, and will be payable for the next six months.

  “The special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant is intended to mitigate the undue hardships faced by individuals and families through this difficult time. We are pleased with the intake so far and we urge all eligible individuals to apply on time,” said Zulu. 

  For one to be eligible to receive the SRD grant they must be above the age of 18, must not be receiving any form of social grant, unemployed, not receiving a stipend from the National Financial Aid Scheme, not receiving any unemployment insurance and must not be a resident in a government funded or subsidized institution.

  “Once again, we appeal to those already receiving social grant not to apply as they are not eligible for the Special Covid-19 SRD grant. It is only meant to benefit persons who are currently not receiving any form of income from the government,” Zulu said.

  The minister pleaded with applicants not to upload any documents when applying, as it will overwhelm the system.

  Johannesburg resident Mathapelo Matshwete says she applied for the grant using a Whatsapp number and has not received any response yet.

  “I applied for the grant using a Whatsapp number that was provided on the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) website but I haven’t received any notification to say I have been successful or not. So now I don’t know whether I will get the money or not,”she said.

  Another Joburg applicant, Thabo Nkuna says he is confused by the whole application system as he has tried several times but has been unsuccessful.

  “I have tried countless times to apply but haven’t received any response. At first I used the online system, when I didn’t get any response I used the Whatsapp number but I’m still waiting. I entered all my details and I’m even afraid that my details might be used for fraud,” he said.

  Another Joburg resident Nelisiwe Ndlela says she applied using the USSD code and her application went through; however she is still waiting for the response that says her application was a success.

  According to SASSA once an application has been approved, SASSA will request the applicant to provide their banking details.

  To apply for the SRD grant applicants can use Whatsapp number 082 046 8553, USSD or Sim line *134*7737# or online

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