Following the president's announcement on 25 July 2021 where the president mentioned the re-introduction of the social relief of distress grant, the Minister of Social Development held a media briefing on 4 August 2021. The Minister mentioned that the first iteration of the Covid-19 Social Relief Grant played a great role in reducing hunger and vulnerability among poor households and further added that it was successful in reducing poverty and inequality.

In this new iteration, the Minister provided that the Department of Social Development had been allocated R26,7 billion, which is inclusive of administrative costs borne by SASSA, and this will be disbursed for a period of 8 months from August 2021 until March 2022.

Application for the grant will be via the online and digital platforms as per the first iteration which had proven to be a success. The Minister also mentioned that majority of the previous applications were paid to males between the ages of 18-35 years old and in order to address the gender imbalance, the grant has now been opened to include caregivers, the majority of whom are women.

The application channels will be open from 6 August 2021 and first payment is expected to be made in the last week of August 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

A Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 per month is payable to a person who is:

  • 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;
  • currently residing within the borders of the Republic of South Africa
  • above the age of 18 and below the age of 60
  • unemployed
  • 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 and other financial aid
  • not receiving any other government COVID-19 response support
  • not a resident in a government funded or subsidised institution

All those who had previously applied must re-apply again. This will enable the department to assess their eligibility as it had done during the previous period, and all applications will be treated as new applications every month. However, each applicant need only apply once – thereafter the application will be considered monthly.

All applications will therefore be made electronically / digitally and any of the following frontline application channels may be used:

  • Firstly, through the website at;
  • Through our WhatsApp line on 082 046 8553; or
  • The USSD line *134*7737#

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