The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) announced on Monday its readiness for the implementation of the unemployment grant for six months, but said no manual applications would be made at its offices.
Chief Executive Officer Busisiwe Memela-Khambula outlined the logistics of the R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant for the unemployed, pleading with those who are receiving any form of national grant not to apply.
“In the past weeks when we had piloted the programme, we noticed that on the first day that the applications were open, 50% of the 100 000 applicants were already people that were receiving grants,” Memela-Khambula says.
To qualify for this Covid-19 grant, recipients must be South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees registered on the Home Affairs system, who are resident within the borders of the Republic of South Africa.
Applicants must be:
- Above the age of 18;
- Not receiving any income;
- Not receiving any social grant;
- Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits;
- Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and
- Not resident in a government-funded or subsidised institution.
Prospective applicants will need to provide the following compulsory information for the processing of their applications:
- Identity Number/Department of Home Affairs permit;
- Name and Surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
- Gender and disability status;
- Banking details – bank name and account number;
- Contact details – cellphone number;
- Proof of residential address;
Applicants may apply using the WhatsApp number 082 0468 553, SMS line *134*7737# or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sassa offices open
Memela-Khambula also announced that 30% of Sassa staff returned to work on Monday to continue to render social services.
She says Mondays and Tuesdays will be used to receive applications from older persons.
“Priority will be given to those citizens who turned 60 just prior to or during the lockdown period, who were unable to complete their applications before services were stopped,” Memela-Khambula says.
She also announced that Wednesdays and Thursdays will be open for new applications for child support and foster child grants.
“Priority will be given to caregivers with new babies, instances where the caregiver has to change or where circumstances have resulted in caregivers having no income to support their children,” Memela-Khambula says.
She appealed to caregivers not to bring their children with when they go to the Sassa offices to minimise the risk of infection these young people may face.