More Than a Million Apply for COVID-19 Special Grants of R350

SASSA CEO Ms Totsie Memela

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says more than a million unemployed people have applied for the R350 monthly COVID-19 relief grant.

“What we did when we started, we realised that when we reconciled, 60% of people who made the application were not supposed to,” Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi, told ENCA.

The special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next 6 months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of a social grant or UIF payment.

Watch ENCA interview with Letsatsi, below:

Also read: Coronavirus Grant WhatsApp Number, USSD Code and Email

The manner in which qualifying citizens can apply for this grant will be as follows:

      • The new WHATSAPP line will be 082 0468 553
      • The USSD or SMS Line will be *134*7737#
      • The email address will be

If an applicant has previously provided a cellphone number to an institution such as the SA Revenue Service or the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and now tries to apply using a different number, “the system will kick you out,” Sassa said.


  1. What is so surprising is that I applied for more than 3 people using my phone, on the same day, only one is approved and ours still pending?


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