Tens of thousands who do not qualify apply for R350 unemployment grant

The first round of applications for the Covid-19 social relief grant of R350 a month for the unemployed has seen tens of thousands who do not qualify making applications.

Only those who are unemployed and do not already receive a government grant qualify for the Covid-19 social relief grant.
Image: POWER987 News via Twitter

This has prompted the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to clarify the category of people who do qualify for the grant.

Sassa CEO Totsie Memela said on Monday that only people who were unemployed and not benefiting from any other government grant were eligible.

Of the 91,000 people who had applied on the WhatsApp line for the Covid-19 unemployment grant, 11,000 were found to be recipients of other social grants and were disqualified, said Memela.

Of the 250,000 who applied via e-mail, half were flagged and removed as they already received social grants.

From midday on Monday, Sassa launched a new application system to ensure that only those eligible would receive assistance and to stop chancers from defrauding the system.

Here are the criteria for the grant:

  • Any unemployed South African older than 18.
  • Must not be a recipient of other social grants, including old age, child support or disability grants.
  • Applicants should not be earning any sort of income.
  • Recipients of NSFAS funding do not qualify.
  • Prisoners and all other beneficiaries of state-funded welfare do not qualify.

Memela said those who qualify must be able to produce their SA identity document details in full as well as their gender and disability, if any.

The provision of physical address details, even without proof of residence, was also required.

Active bank account details were also required to enable Sassa to deposit the money once an application was approved.

Those without an active bank account can use their mobile phone numbers for cardless withdrawals at bank ATMs.

“As we all know, all the banks have different solutions such as Cashsend and e-Wallet that can be used to send money,” said Memela.

“We are contracted with all the major banks, in instances where you live closer to a facility with an Absa ATM, you can say send my money through Cashsend and if you are close to FNB you can choose e-Wallet and go retrieve it from the ATM.”

Three application platforms have been put in place: one via e-mail, the second through WhatsApp and third by SMS.

The details are available on the department of social development’s website.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)



  1. I have been trying to apply via email and WhatsApp, please tell me how can we apply from Mpumalanga? It looks like this srd us fir Gauteng people.

  2. When I email and wastup nothing came since Monday no respond but sassa told us people will start earn friday on 15 but when I wastup and email no respond please tell us this money is really or what we desperate and unemployment

  3. I guess that this grants gon be realized on the 15th. Because that was the first postponee from the 6th one of this month remembers.

  4. How will I know if my application is approved coz I apply on the 11 of may which is Monday but no respond.

  5. My friend applied whereas he’s still waiting ,they ddn’t even ask for banking details yet,these ppl are messed up

  6. This SRD grant is just a fairy-tale. Even the one I know who applied eaelier they have not recieved any messages requiring bank account or source of payment. Even me, I applied in all platforms but I never recieved even one response. The Government is playing the minds of the poor! Some of us we are really desperate for that money, yes it’s is not that much but it will manage buying 5kg hampers and some roll- on and vaseline😣. If there was a way to withdraw my application I’d done that before anyone could.

  7. I have applied via the USSD option and followed the prompts and it said I completed the process but nearly a month later no response to confirm either way whether approved or declined. Why do the President offer this relief but don’t see it through even by way of letting us know that it is still in process for the very least

  8. I have applied all the platforms but no reply this is just a load of bullshit the president is making promises but nothing is happening. The poor is battling out there applicants don’t know if they qualify no response whatsoever. I applied before the 15th May . I’m not getting any grant nor Uif payment I have no source of income so clearly I should qualify.

  9. I applied for someone on the 15 May still I didn’t get an answer, should I wait or reapply, the person has no cellphone nor bank account

  10. I received an sms. Req banking details the application was approved. But how do i get the cash send code from absa as i dont have a bank account.

  11. Hie is their anyone who have received the money me i dont work or getting any grant but nothing into my account. I really quilify.i am dying without answer

    Where to go from now

  12. I have been declined. The sms says I get money from other places. Where the fuck? I have only received UIF last year when our company liquidated andwe lost our jobs. I need an URGENT ANSWER!!!

  13. Famidha Sheik Ally please I dnt have any other source of income..and my social relief Grant has been declined..

  14. Famidha I was declined //it ashamed I am unemployed//and I recieved sms stating that I have other source of income.. which I don’t//I need to reapply for social relief Grant

  15. I was declined, I am unemployed and I don’t receive any source of income. Why was I declined. I’m very upset, I really need that R350 , we are struggeling, no money, no food. Please can anyone help me

  16. I’ve applied For the Covid-19 Sassa grant and I’ve checked my status today in the morning as it said declined,how can it decline while am unemployed and not earning nothing is their a vaild reason for this matter because am not working which income am I getting under my name?

  17. Funny This goverment Gid help us all. I was also declined havent had any form of income nor have i been employed for the last 2 years.

    Wtf.when this is said and done , i commitee will be appointed to investigate where all the money went to.

    Its easy, this is SA.

  18. I’m unemployed I applied for child support for my children for school fees clothing and whatever they need the money I receive it’s for them not for me

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