Sassa Says COVID-19 Grant Application System is Not Ready

"The WhatsApp system is currently closed. Sincerest apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience," says Sassa.

Sassa. Image source: Cape Business News

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says the system to process COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grants is not ready.

Last week Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development, announced that South Africa’s government will start paying COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant on May 15.

Zulu announced that applications for the Special COVID-19 Social Relief Grant may be lodged by sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 and selecting SASSA or by sending an email to

However, today on its official Twitter page Sassa announced that:

“The special temporary COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant will only be applied for as soon as its application system is in place, which will be announced when ready.”

See Sassa’s tweet below:



Several unemployed South Africans have been sending WhatsApp messages and emails to attempt to apply for the special COVID-19 grant without success.

Some Twitter users were not happy with the delays in implementing the registration process.


Also read: Doubt Over Sassa’s Capacity to Deliver COVID-19 Grant

Some TechFinancials readers have also expressed their frustration at the Sassa registration process for the COVID-19 special grants.

“I tried to apply for unemployment R350 Sassa grant but the system is giving me what I’m not looking for, what should I do?” asked one reader.

Another said: “I am a widow and have been trying every WhatsApp number and email number that’s been given, to apply for the R350. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be working.”

Another added: “0600 123 456 is busy giving us wrong information that we don’t want..we want to apply for money that’s all.”

“I submitted an application via WhatsApp and email dated 30 April and 03 May 2020, respectively. No response from either. Can you assist me further, please?”

Furthermore, in a tweet, Sassa also warned South Africans of a scam that has targeted unemployed South Africans in recent days.

Sassa requested the unemployed to ignore this scam.



  1. No.lift of ban on.cigarettes and millions are being made selling backdoor n rich getting richer

    Why open takeaways and fast foods when.people don’t have money for basic necessities and the ones needing employment remain. unemployed and again.the rich business owners get richer ..

    And now everyone has a takeaway from.home and is an.essential.worker again the rich getting richer

    What About the politicians and government workers why are They telling us we can’t work.n.become jobless n.they remain.paid employed n rich.

  2. Why don’t they just throw a bomb on us…for once and kill us cause even a little kid can Barely see that all this situation is to get rid of us the poor..we are told to remain indoors jobless n broke while the rich ones n those with jobs get paid even without working n we also get arrested for trying fellow south africans we’re still under Aparitheid just in disguise everything is against the Black man in this world and that’s an endless situation

  3. Can someone please get the government to address the issue of the unemployment grant. They were very quick to say no back pay but the system is still not up and running. Looks like they planning to sink the money as usual

  4. Gift, it’s not only black men. I’m a whitey and penniless. No work=no money. Can’t see a way out of this hole!

  5. Our government is just fooling around with us
    Our president was just looking for attention he was not serious about anything he was just buying our time and patient, we will die with hunger we are so poor and most of we can’t even buy ourselves bread or bath soap

  6. I am very worried by this situation of poverty ,unemployment grant can’t reach us ,we don’t know the procedure to apply ,there are so many stories .We are starving of hunger .Food parcels can’t reach us i apply parcels by email and they send reference number till today i still waiting. Really ,really our government is stressing .One people are benefiting in our country ,child support grant ,others we can die of hunger no one is looking at us.

  7. I applied on 30th April 2020 and on 4th May 2020 till now No Response not even a reply stating we have receive your application .nothing !

  8. Can u imagine taking TB medication n hungry when u go to the clinic to ask for food they tell u go to sassa whereas sassa is closed with notice that says from 11may they will only help oldage n children only while they say u r high risk how governments work mara xem i tried sending emails even calling mahube sassa manager bt still waiting jah neh corona wa tla wa nketsa straight

  9. I keep checking the news corner n draai n nothing happening about R350.lets lindiwe come pls 15 is next week

  10. For now I got nothing much to say guys, but something is going on while they’re locking us behind doors, let’s look back on that 350 just think roughly’what is it for,? basically its for food.
    Why I say so,is because all clothing stores are closed,no cigarette,no booze in fact there’s no more fun for anyone who’s not in politics out there.


  11. This whole thing of the 350 for the unemployment I think I wasn’t supposed to be announced since we all struggling to apply. The way I see it after this 6 months of Lockdown the pockets of the politicians will be full

  12. Why government of this country is dragging their feet because there are many people who are surfaring because they don’t have job because of this corona and people are waiting for these 350 to have food in their homes stop dragging your feets

  13. F*** what ever games are being played with people,if you won’t allow us pay us what we were promised the damn government might as well let’s us back in the streets and hustle ourselves, coz what’s the point of avoiding catching Corona virus while even if I’m in the house I can possibly die of hunger?the government ppl busy going around spreading lies adding more fat to their pot bellies while ppl are really starving outchea

  14. I tried to apply for social relief grant but the application was unsuccessful,I think this process is closed,why you can’t tell people what’s happening?


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