Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says eight days after the department opened applications for the COVID-19 social relief grant, in excess of 8.1 million people applied for the grant.
“The application channels for the grant for the period from April 2022 to March 2023, as announced by the President, opened on 23 April 2022.
“By 30 April 2022, in excess of 8.1 million applications had already been received.
“I assure all qualifying applicants that they will be in receipt of their payments for this iteration of the grant by June,” she said.
Zulu said the allocation for the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the 2022/23 financial year is R44 billion.
“This means that each month 10.5 million approved applicants will receive this important social safety net intervention that cushions them and their families against the constraints of unemployment and poverty.
“This grant type is increasingly taking advantage of commonplace data and digital infrastructures to process applications and conduct verifications. Therefore, the need for physical contact is greatly reduced.
Zulu said SASSA was extending its negotiations to include local fast moving consumer goods traders as part of their payment outlets for the COVID-19 SRD grant.
“I wish to reiterate our government’s commitment and readiness to fight crime syndicates and criminals who are defrauding the State.
“To this end, we are continuing to work together with the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that these and their actions are detected, isolated, arrested and successfully prosecuted,” she said.
Long-awaited extended child support grant to go online
The long-awaited extended child support grant will be rolled out in the current financial year – a move that will bring affected children in the foster care system the support they need to unlock their full potential.
“In support of the department’s commitment to find a comprehensive legal solution to the foster care challenges which have been plaguing the sector for many years, an amount of R687.0 million in 2023/24 and R871.0 million in 2024/25 has been allocated for the implementation of the long-awaited extended child support grant (otherwise known as the top-up child support grant) for orphans who are in the care of relatives,” she said.
Zulu said as soon as the amended regulations for the Social Assistance Act of 2004 have been published in the next few days, SASSA will be in a position to provide the extended child support grant of R720 per child per month to relatives who are caring for orphaned children.
“While we expect the extended child support grant to be implemented in June of this year, we estimate that it will be received by over 191 000 relatives during the 2022/23 financial year.
“Let me remind you that in order to access this grant, qualifying applicants need not go through the lengthy Children’s Court process. As a result, the affected children will quickly receive the support they need for them to unlock their full potential.”