Applications for Special Social Relief Grant Are Now Open


On Monday, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) officially opened the application process for the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 for the unemployed.

SASSA Chief Executive Officer, Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, says, “With regards to the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, we have gone back, re-looked at our systems and have strengthened the modus operandi. We believe we are ready to open the process today.”

Speaking at a virtual media briefing on Monday, Memela-Khambula said that technology will be used to deliver services.

“Over time, we will be able to extend support to those people who will not have access to technology. It is very important to note that for us to deliver a service that is efficient; we are going have to use technology even in areas that are far flung. We are going to get people to offer support in those areas,” she said.

Emphasis was made that SASSA would remain extra vigilant to avoid any type of situation where people will try to defraud the system.

To qualify applicants must be:

  • Above the age of 18;
  • Unemployed;
  • Not receiving any income;
  • Not receiving any social grant;
  • Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Not be receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and
  • Not resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.
Image: Supplied

Applicants must provide the following information:

  • Identity Number;
  • Name and surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
  • Gender and disability;
  • Banking details – bank name and account number;
  • Contact details – cell phone number;
  • Residential address;

Applicants will need to provide their residential address but will no longer need to provide proof of address. 

To apply, applicants can send a WhatsApp message to 082 0468 553 or use the USSD line *134*7737# or e-mail

The grant is a total of R350 and will be paid to qualifying applications from May until October 2020.

The grant forms part and parcel of the R500 billion economic and social relief measures that were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last month.


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