South Africa: With the National State of Disaster being lifted, payment of the Social Relief Distress Grant has migrated from the Disaster Management Act (DMA) to the Social Assistance Act (SAA), which means that all existing Applications were required to reapply for the Grant.

• The SRD Grant can only be applied for through digital application channels, which include a WhatsApp Channel, the online website and the SASSA Mobile Application (which is still in development and will be introduced gradually during the course of the year).


• Some beneficiaries have not been paid since the approval of their Grants in April. This was due to the Department’s work to finalise a functional verification process and to ensure all systems are in place (which would also assist the Auditor-General with the monitoring of the application process). As both objectives are complete, the Department anticipates processing the payments to all Grant recipients as soon as possible. As such, those who applied in April will be paid from that month.

• A new screening questionnaire has been introduced to improve the screening of applicants, which includes providing personal information such as an ID number, educational, employment, and banking details.

New questions include when the client last worked and whether the client is receiving any other forms of income.

• The Applications will be validated monthly through digital channels; these include the National population register, the South African Revenue Services (SARS), banks and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

• Clients will be required to confirm every three months whether or not they still require the Grant. This will encourage more active engagement between SASSA and the client, and it defaults the client to not requiring the Grant if they do not re-engage every three months.

• The Department has been working with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) on the ground across the country to assist Applicants without cell phones with their online applications. This will prevent third parties from exploiting Applicants.


• Clients can withdraw their Grant without purchasing an item from the store (there have been reports that shop owners are forcing clients to do so, particularly in the rural areas). Shop owners doing so should be reported to the Department immediately for the necessary action to be taken.

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