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Who qualifies and how to apply for unemployment grant

The grant will be paid to qualifying unemployed individuals who are permanent SA residents and refugees registered on the home affairs system.

FILE: Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has explained what the criteria and processes are for the unemployment COVID-19 grant.

Zulu elaborated on the socio-economic relief interventions on COVID-19 during a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion COVID-19 economic recovery plan and of that budget, R50 billion would be allocated towards social grants and to also aid the unemployed.

These are basic guidelines relating to the grant:

  • The unemployed, with no source of income at all, will receive a monthly stipend of R350 for the next six months according to the Social Assistant Act of 2004.

  • The grant will be paid to qualifying unemployed individuals who are permanent SA residents and refugees registered on the home affairs system.

  • Applicants must be above the age of 18, unemployed, not receiving any income, social grant or unemployment benefit and not qualify to receive any unemployment benefit scheme. They should not be receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and not a resident in a government-funded or subsidised institution.

  • Prospective applications would need to provide an ID number, name and surname as captured on the ID, their gender and disability (if applicable), the name of the bank they bank with and account number, proof of residence, contact details and cell phone number(s).

Zuu said they were looking into those who did not have bank accounts: “We know that some of the people we are talking about have no accounts. Many of them, as they are unemployed, will not have banking details but we are working on a system on how to reach the ones that do not have bank accounts.”

So if you qualify, how do you then apply for the grant?

  • Applications may be lodged electronically over and above any available means.

  • Measures applicable include sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 and select Sassa. Or you can email SARD@Sassa.gov.za.

“We are still finalising additional channels, including SMS, self-help desk and an online application process. We will give information as soon as possible,” Zulu added.

The minister asked for cooperation with the public to ensure that they understood how the application process worked. She said the grant would not be paid out immediately after applying as the Department of Social Development would first have to ensure that the applicant was not receiving any other grants.