Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has outlined how to reapply for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant, which President Cyril Ramaphosa reinstated in July.
In a media briefing on Wednesday (4 August), Zulu said SRD grant application channels will open on Friday, 6 August 2021 and the first payments will be made in the last week of August.
Previous applicants must reapply
“It is also important to emphasise that the previous SRD grant expired on 30 April 2021 and this means that all those who had previously applied must reapply again, in order to enable us to assess their eligibility as we did every month during the previous period, and all applications will be treated as new applications every month,” the Minister explained.
“However, each applicant need only apply once – thereafter the application will be considered monthly.”
In addition, there will be no retrospective payments for May, June and July 2021 – the months when the grant had lapsed. New applications will be effective from August 2021 and will be paid until March 2022.
“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,” Zulu emphasised.
How to reapply for R350 SRD grant
To reapply for R350 SRD grant, applicants have three options – website, WhatsApp and USSD:
- Application via website at https://srd.sassa.gov.za;
- Through WhatsApp on 082 046 8553; or
- Through USSD line *134*7737#
- Via https://govchat.app/login or Facebook messenger: https://facebook.com/govchat.org.
Zulu reminded applicants to apply only through one of the above channels, adding that it is not necessary to submit multiple applications. Applicants will receive confirmation as soon as they have submitted their applications successfully.
SRD grant eligibility
The following categories of people are eligible to apply for SRD grant:
- 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;
- 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.
“Care givers who are not receiving any grant on their own behalf will also have to apply for the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant,” Minister Zulu said.
SRD payments – banking details required upfront
Payments will be channeled via bank accounts of beneficiaries. “With applicants who are unbanked or do not have bank accounts, SASSA will pay through SAPO/Post Bank or Bank Mobile Money Transfers (cash send),” the Minister said.
“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.”
She urged applicants to provide banking details to reduce long queues at Post Office branches. Furthermore, it is important to provide the correct mobile phone number because all communications with applicants/beneficiaries will be via SMS.
“Our new process will now request the applicants to provide their banking details upfront, so that we can process payment as soon as they meet the criteria,” the Minister said.
Applications will be validated every month, which means that a change of the applicant’s financial circumstances “may result in the grant not being approved for subsequent months, or approved for some months but not all.”
SRD grant application appeals
Applicants whose SRD grant applications are declined have a right to an appeals process. They must lodge their appeal via the SASSA website within 30 days of the outcome being available. An appeal must be lodged for every month that the grant is declined.
To read Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s speech in full, click here.