Home News Covid-19 relief grant: System under pressure due to high volume of applications

Covid-19 relief grant: System under pressure due to high volume of applications

File image. Picture: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Over 80,000 applications for the special Covid-19 grant have been received in the Northern Cape and applicants have been urged to be patient.

THE SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the Northern Cape said on Wednesday that it has already received over 80,000 thousand Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant applications.

The grant is for qualifying unemployed people in the country.

The applications were opened on August 6 by the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Sisulu, following an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the fund would be extended until March 2022.

The provincial senior communications manager for Sassa, Inno Khunou, said the majority of applicants are women.

“A total of 5,974,986 applications have been received nationally just six days after the applications were opened. Current statistics show that of the 5.9 million applications already received, 3,561,659 applicants are female while 2,413,327 are male. In the Northern Cape, a total of 81,589 applications were received by August 12, 2021 – translating into 25,725 applicants who are caregivers and 55,864 non-caregivers,” said Khunou.

Khunou said people applying for the grant can do so from the comfort of their homes without having to travel to a Sassa office.

“Those applying for the special Covid-19 SRD grant can only do so online. There are various social media platforms where eligible people can apply. These are srd.sassa.gov.za or govchat.app/login, including the popular WhatsApp number 082 046 8553. Alternatively, people can apply via Facebook Messenger at www.facebook.com/govchat.org,”

She urged applicants to be patient as their systems are under pressure due to the high volume of applications.

“Sassa NC thanks all the applicants for their patience while systems were clogged due to the high volume of applications. Behind the scenes, officials are working round-the-clock to check each applicant against the various data systems and bank detail verification to ensure each grant recipient deserves and qualifies for it. Once done, payment will follow.

“In so doing, Sassa ensures the grant goes to those who need it the most but are without any form of financial support due to unemployment, and assures the government that its resources are used towards alleviating the impact of unemployment and the Covid-19 pandemic,” Khunou said.

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