As announced by the President last week, the Department of Social Development will start distributing a “Social Relief of Distress” Grant from early May 2020.

Speaking during a briefing to update the nation on the department’s socioeconomic relief interventions for the coronavirus pandemic today, 29 April 2020, the Minister of DSD Lindiwe Zulu outlined who qualifies for the grant as well as how they can apply.

The grant will be available to South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees registered on the Home Affairs system who are residents within the borders of the Republic of South Africa. Applicants must be:

  • Above the age of 18
  • Unemployed
  • Not receiving any income
  • Not receiving any social grant
  • Not receiving any UIF benefit and does not qualify to receive UIF benefits
  • Not receiving a stipend from NSFAS
  • Not resident in a government funded or subsidised institution

Successful applicants will be paid an amount of R350 per month over a period of six months from May to October 2020.

Applications can be done by sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 or email Additional access channels, including SMS, self help desks and online application will be finalised soon.

“We are still finalising additional access channels and including SMS, self-help desks and online application process. We will give information on these soon,” said Zulu

KAE News tried the WhatsApp channel and got an automated response that “SASSA will inform the public when applications via WhatsApp will resume”

Applicants must provide the following compulsory information for processing of their applications:

  • ID Number/Permit Number
  • Name and Surname as captured in the ID
  • Gender and Disability
  • Banking Details – Bank Name and Account Number
  • Cellphone Number
  • Proof of Residential Address

“In terms of payment, this will be made mainly through bank accounts of the applicants and through cash send measures through banks. The grant will be paid from the date of approval up to the end of October 2020 provided the qualifying criteria listed continues to be met. So if applicants apply in June their payments will be from June and there will be no backpay” added Zulu.

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