Thursday, 05 August 2021

Pretoria: Applications for the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant will be opened from Friday, with the first payments expected to be made in the last week of August 2021.

Announcing the re-introduction of the special COVID-19 SRD Grant, during a media briefing on Thursday, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said an amount of R26.7 billion has been allocated for the new iteration.

The amount includes the administrative costs borne by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), and it is for a period of eight months with effect from August 2021 until March 2022.

“All recipients who may have not received some of their payments during the first iteration of the grant between May 2020 and April 2021 will certainly receive their payments, and this new iteration will not affect those payments.

“We have taken note that the majority of the previous applications were paid to males between the ages of 18-35 and in order to address this gender imbalance, the grant has now been opened to include caregivers, the majority of whom are women,” Zulu said.

Eligibility criteria for COVID-19 SRD Grant

A Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 per month, as indicated in the Directions is payable for the period indicated therein to a person who is:

  • A South African Citizen, permanent resident or refugee registered on the Home Affairs database and persons who are holders of special permits under the Special Angolan Dispensation, the Lesotho Exemption Permit dispensation and the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Dispensation, and asylum seekers whose section 22 permits or visas are valid or were valid on 15 March 2020;
  • Currently residing within the borders of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Above the age of 18 and below the age of 60;
  • Unemployed;
  • Not receiving any social grant in respect of himself or herself;
  • Not receiving an unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive an unemployment insurance benefit;
  • Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and other financial aid;
  • Not receiving any other government COVID-19 response support; and
  • Not a resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.

Zulu said that care givers who are not receiving any grant on their own behalf will also have to apply for the special grant.

She also reiterated that only people who meet the criteria, and have no financial support from any source should apply for the grant.

The Minister also emphasised that the previous SRD grant expired on 30 April 2021, and all people who had previously applied must re-apply again, in order to enable the department to assess their eligibility, and all applications will be treated as new applications every month.

“However, each applicant need only apply once – thereafter the application will be considered monthly. The new application will only be effective from August 2021 [and] the applications shall be considered from the month of application and paid up to 31 March 2022, provided the qualifying criteria continue to be met.

“This requirement will be confirmed through the monthly validations of every application. It is important to note that there will be no automatic qualification – all applications must satisfy the criteria and will be subjected to the entire validation process,” the Minister explained.

All applications will be done electronically, through the website at; WhatsApp on 082 046 8553; or USSD line *134*7737#

An application should be submitted through only one of the channels, and it is not necessary to submit multiple applications.

Confirmation will be received as soon as the application has been successfully submitted.

SASSA will pay the SRD Grant into a bank account of the beneficiary. With applicants who do not have bank accounts, SASSA will pay through South African Post Office/Post Bank; or a Bank Mobile Money Transfers (cash send).

“It is important for applicants to note that the bank account or the cellular phone number provided for payment must be registered in the name of the approved applicant for the grant to ensure that payment goes to the correct recipients.

“We also appeal to all applicants to provide information on a bank account through which they can be paid, so that we can reduce the long queues at the post office branches and improve convenience to all our clients. It is also important for every applicant to provide the correct mobile number through which he/she can be contacted, as all communication with applicants will be through sms notifications.” Zulu explained.