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About 9-million people have reapplied for the R350 grant

The SA Social Security Agency says it has seen an increase in new applicants for the grant. File photo.
The SA Social Security Agency says it has seen an increase in new applicants for the grant. File photo.
Image: 123RF/NENETUS

About 9-million applications have been received for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant since the application channel opened on April 23. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE, SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said the agency has seen an increase in new applicants for the grant. 

“Most applications are from those who previously applied for the grant. 

“In the last cycle, more than 15-million applications were received, of which approximately 10.6-million were approved and paid,” he said.

Last month, Sassa urged applicants to reapply for the grant after it was shifted from the Disaster Management Act to the Social Assistance Act following the end of the national state of disaster. 

Speaking on SAfm, Letsatsi said the shift would not affect payments for those who have already been approved. 

“Since the state of disaster ended, the grant has to be included under the Social Assistance Act. Sassa cannot process applications without making sure the law is followed. 

“It is an administrative arrangement we are confident will be resolved and not leave people behind. We don’t want people to panic,” said Letsatsi.

More application portals opened

On Monday Sassa announced the WhatsApp line is now open for R350 grant applications.

“Our Whatsapp application channel for the special Covid-19 SRD grant is active,” said Sassa. 

The agency urged applicants who reapplied using the website srd.sassa.gov.za not to  apply again on WhatsApp. 

How can I apply using WhatsApp? 

  • Add 082 046 8553 as a contact on your phone.
  • Go on WhatsApp and send a message saying ‘hi’ to the number.
  • You will receive a response and you should respond saying ‘help’.
  • You will be given different options. Reply saying ‘4’.
  • This will lead you to the Sassa platform where you should reply ‘SRD’.
  • You will have to confirm whether you are applying for yourself or someone else.
  • You will have to submit your first name, surname and ID number in the message. 
  • After submitting your documents, you will receive a message on WhatsApp stating the next steps.

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