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Sassa to provide R700 SRD vouchers to households hardest hit by the unrest

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The South African Social Security Agency says it is in the process of providing food relief to households affected by last week’s civil unrest and criminal looting in KZN and Gauteng.

Dozens of people looted the Game Warehouse in Durban, KZN. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

THE SOUTH African Social Security Agency says it is in the process of providing food relief to households affected by last week’s civil unrest and criminal looting in KZN and Gauteng.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last week that Sassa would provide food parcels, cash and vouchers to those in need.

Sassa spokesperson Sandy Godlwana said social relief of distress (SRD) would be provided in vouchers limited to R700 as a temporary measure for people unable to meet the basic needs for themselves and their families.

The SRD grant, limited to R700, would be paid to qualifying persons who meet the following criteria:

  • Are awaiting payment of an approved grant.
  • The breadwinner of the household is deceased and application is made within three months of the date of death.
  • The breadwinner of the household has been found medically unfit to undertake remunerative work.
  • The breadwinner of that household has been admitted to a state-funded institution.
  • The person has been affected by a disaster.
  • The person has children who are malnourished.

Godlwana said those awaiting payment, may include clients whose grants have been approved but have not yet paid as well as beneficiaries who have not been able to collect their grant as a result of payments being halted due to the unrest.

However, she said those whose grants have been halted and apply for the R700 voucher would have to sign an agreement to repay this money back to Sassa in instalments.

The department said all qualifying clients needed to visit a Sassa to apply. A Sukuma Sakhe War Room could be approached for assistance.

Godlwana said the unrest in KZN had severely affected service delivery at some of Sassa offices including the KwaMashu office where infrastructure and vehicles were vandalised and torched.

“Service providers who are contracted to provide Social Relief of Distress have had their stocks stolen which has led to the service providers halting their service. As a result, Sassa KZN is currently working around the clock to assess the extent of destruction and ensure that this service is rendered swiftly.”

She said the department would not be receiving additional funds and would use available funds for the programme.

Meanwhile, Godlwana said a a fake poster was circulating on social media, claiming that people could apply for social relief of distress electronically, which was not true.

“We urge our people to exercise caution and not to be duped by hoax messages. We appeal to our people to remain calm and co-operate with Sassa officials during this difficult period.”

Sassa has encouraged its clients to contact the department immediately or call its customer care number 033 846 3400 or 0800 60 10 11 for further information.

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