Sassa still processing 845k applications of COVID grant, over 3.7m declined

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government continued to implement measures to assist households, employees and businesses that were affected by the pandemic.

FILE: Amid growing pressure to open up more of the economy, the president eased lockdown restrictions. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Service Agency (Sassa) is still processing over 845,000 applications for the special social relief of distress grant.

This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night when he gave an update about the R350 grant.

Amid growing pressure to open up more of the economy, the president eased lockdown restrictions.

The enforcement of stop-start regulations since the pandemic hit in March last year and has shuttered thousands of businesses and added to the growing unemployment rate.

The president said the government continued to implement measures to assist households, employees and businesses that were affected by the pandemic and by the public violence that occurred in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

“We have received nearly 13 million applications; of these, 8.3 million applications have been approved, just over 3.7 million applications were declined, mainly because applicants have other identified sources of income, or are registered for assistance like UIF and NSFAS,” said President Ramaphosa during Sunday night’s address to the nation.

FULL SPEECH: President Ramaphosa eases COVID-19 restrictions

Ramaphosa has also used his latest address to the nation to once again call on South African's to fight gender-based violence and femicide.

Domestic violence during lockdown has been termed "the shadow pandemic".

Ramaphosa said just last month, there were several crimes committed against women and girls, including the murder of Fort Hare law student Nosicelo Mtebeni and the rape of a grade one pupil from Soshanguve at her school.

In another attempt to strengthen the country's resolve to end gender-based violence, Ramaphosa said Parliament adopted three bills.

“The National Assembly has approved three critical pieces of legislation that will further strengthen the criminal justice system and ensure harsh penalties for those found guilty of gender-based violence and femicide. Ultimately, the success of this work depends on the actions that we all take to end this pandemic of violence against women and children.”

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