When Covid 19 struck in South Africa, it did so with devastating consequences. The disease and resulting lockdown left many families in a situation where breadwinners lost their jobs, leaving families without the resources to buy even the most basic necessities such as food.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the National State of Disaster and introduced a special Covid 19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) of R350 per month for six months. This measure was necessary to help unemployed individuals who did not receive any income. The SRD or Social relief of distress grant is a temporary provision of assistance for people who cannot meet even the most basic needs of their families. The funding officially expired in January 2021, but payments continued. Now the president has announced that the government has extended the grant for three months. The extension is necessary because of the persisting financial pressure on residents because of the lockdown and effects of Covid 19. The news came as a welcome lifeline for many people whose lives were turned upside down.
You are eligible to apply if you are:
- A SA citizen, permanent resident, or foreign national registered with home affairs.
- Resident within the borders of SA.
- Over 18.
- Not receiving any income.
- Not receiving any social grant.
- Not receiving unemployment insurance benefits and do not qualify for such.
- Not receiving any stipends from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
- Receiving no other government COVID-19 response support; and
- Not a resident in a government-funded or subsidised institution.
Do not attach any documents to your application. It should only contain a residential address with your motivation. Applying means you are granting SASSA the right to verify your information. Under no circumstances should you provide your banking details in your initial application. SASSA will request your banking details once they have verified your application.
There is good news for those who have already applied and are not sure about their application status. Sassa has put their records online for applicants to see if their SRD grants were processed and checked on the status. They can do so online, thanks to the application status tracker.
The procedure to access the tracker starts by typing https://srd.sassa.gov.za/sc19/status into a web browser. When the site opens, enter your ID number and your cellphone number and click “Submit” to check your status.
If these details are correct, you will receive an update on your SASSA application status. If your application was not successful, you might apply for the Social Relief of Distress grant again.