The Special Covid-19 R350 Social Relief of Distress grant from SASSA provides millions of South Africans with financial relief as the country battles unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic. So when will this grant come to an end?
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) introduced the Special Covid-19 R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants to financially assist people who were unemployed and could not take care of the needs of themselves and their families, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The R350 grant was first introduced in May 2020 and has helped South Africans so much that it has been extended on many occasions.
The second round of the grant opened on 6 August 2021 and applications for this round is set to close in March 2022. Though applications may end payments will still be made for months before March 2022, which remain unpaid.
All applicants who applied for the first round of the grant have to re-apply for the second round, as SASSA has had to verify whether these applicants are still eligible for the R350 grant.
After submitting an application and being approved for the R350 grant, beneficiaries will receive their grant payments either through their bank account, the Post Office, through Post Bank/CashSend services or through Pick n Pay or Boxer stores.
Every month SASSA will be checking to see if those who have been approved for the R350 grant are receiving any other form of income above the amount of R595. This is SASSA’s way of checking whether you still qualify for the grant or if your circumstances have changed and you’re now receiving funds from elsewhere.
However, beneficiaries do not have to submit an SRD grant application every month.
There have been calls to extend the R350 grant in 2022 because 9.4 million beneficiaries, between the ages of 18 and 59-years-old, will be left without financial support which they depend on to provide for themselves and their families when the grant comes to an end in March 2022.
The Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has revealed that the government will look at the affordability of extending the SRD grant. The minister revealed this during his maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) to parliament.
“Government is still researching possible new social support options once the special Covid-19 social relief of distress grant ends in March 2022. Given the significant financial implications, a final decision must still be made on what is affordable given the current fiscal context,” said National Treasury.