Grant helps millions of South Africans

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To date, over 2,5 million applications for the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 have been approved in the Free State.

This is according to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

The grant is a temporary provision by government intended to aid people in dire need who are unable to meet their own or their family’s most basic needs. The grant is paid to South African citizens or permanent residents with insufficient means.

The confirmed number of applications closely corresponds to the number of unemployed people in the province as reported by Statistics South Africa in September 2020.

According to Motshewa Maleka, provincial spokesperson for Sassa, 2 665 035 of the approximately 4 131 325 applications have been approved.

She said the success of applications depends on whether applicants receive payments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, are cared for in a government institution or are recipients of a social grant.

Some of the unsuccessful applicants included government officials.

According to Maleka, applicants already in the system need not reapply for the grant. All applications will be considered on a monthly basis.

Maleka further advised that anyone who has been paid through a post office should get bank accounts and upload their details on the system.

Because of the work to reactivate the system after it was deactivated in line with the grant’s original expiry date in January, Maleka said payments for February will not be immediate.

The reactivation of the system followed Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during the state of the nation address on Thursday (11/02) that government has decided to implement the Social Relief of Distress grant for three more months.

According to Sassa, more than R16 billion had been paid to approximately 6,5 million recipients between May 2020 and January.

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