Tens of thousands who do not qualify apply for R350 unemployment grant


Only those who are unemployed and do not already receive a government grant qualify for the Covid-19 social relief grant. Only those who are unemployed and do not already receive a government grant qualify for the Covid-19 social relief grant.
Image: POWER987 News via Twitter

The first round of applications for the Covid-19 social relief grant of R350 a month for the unemployed has seen tens of thousands who do not qualify making applications.

This has prompted the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to clarify the category of people who do qualify for the grant.

Sassa CEO Totsie Memela said on Monday that only people who were unemployed and not benefiting from any other government grant were eligible.

Of the 91,000 people who had applied on the WhatsApp line for the Covid-19 unemployment grant, 11,000 were found to be recipients of other social grants and were disqualified, said Memela.

Of the 250,000 who applied via e-mail, half were flagged and removed as they already received social grants.

From midday on Monday, Sassa launched a new application system to ensure that only those eligible would receive assistance and to stop chancers from defrauding the system.

Here are the criteria for the grant:

  • Any unemployed South African older than 18.
  • Must not be a recipient of other social grants, including old age, child support or disability grants.
  • Applicants should not be earning any sort of income.
  • Recipients of NSFAS funding do not qualify.
  • Prisoners and all other beneficiaries of state-funded welfare do not qualify.

Memela said those who qualify must be able to produce their SA identity document details in full as well as their gender and disability, if any.

The provision of physical address details, even without proof of residence, was also required.


Active bank account details were also required to enable Sassa to deposit the money once an application was approved.

Those without an active bank account can use their mobile phone numbers for cardless withdrawals at bank ATMs.

“As we all know, all the banks have different solutions such as Cashsend and e-Wallet that can be used to send money,” said Memela.

“We are contracted with all the major banks, in instances where you live closer to a facility with an Absa ATM, you can say send my money through Cashsend and if you are close to FNB you can choose e-Wallet and go retrieve it from the ATM.”

Three application platforms have been put in place: one via e-mail, the second through WhatsApp and third by SMS.

The details are available on the department of social development's website.






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