What is the SASSA Social Relief of Distress Grant?

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It is estimated that the current unemployment rate in South Africa is above 34%. The expanded definition of unemployment which includes discouraged work seekers, stands at 44%.


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It is estimated that the current unemployment rate in South Africa is above 34%. The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes discouraged work seekers, stands at 44%.

Part of thes harrowing statistics was due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. People were forced to stay at home and were unable to look for work. Others lost their jobs to retrenchments as companies saw their revenue drastically decline.

In April 2020, the South African government announced they would be introducing the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. It was also announced that the grant will be distributed by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) , as the agency is in charge of distributing a number of other social support grants in the country.

The grant, which is worth R350 per month, is meant for people who are unemployed and do not have any alternative income. South African citizens, refugees and permanent residents are eligible for the SRD Grant.

The grant was not however meant for people who were receiving additional support or benefits from the unemployment insurance fund (UIF). You also can be a beneficiary of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) even if you are unemployed.

The SRD grant was originally introduced for six months, but was then reintroduced in July 2021 with the first payment meant to be received by grant recipients at the end of August. The current grant payment cycle will be paid until March 2022.

If the SRD grant application is successful, the money will be paid into either your bank account, accessed at the post office or Postbank services. It can also be drawn at PicknPay or Boxer stores.

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