R350 unemployment grant applications are now open via e-mail

Finally, a drop in the ocean of lockdown hardship. E-mail applications can now be submitted for the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant.


Memela elaborated on the methods of application for the Social Relief of Distress Grant, saying:

“The new WhatsApp line will be 082 046 8553 – we are no longer using the old line which we used which was part of the health line… we now have a Sassa line, specifically designed for this particular grant.”

Memela added that those without smartphones could use the SMS method as follows:

“Because we know that not everybody has a smartphone, for those phones one can also be able to apply. We have a USSD line, or what we always refer to as an SMS line, which means you’ll have to type in *134*7737#”


Manual applications will not be done at Sassa offices at all and there will be no need to fill in paper application forms, the Sassa said in a statement on Saturday.

Field workers will also be deployed to sign up those who don’t have access to technology.


Once applications are approved, Sassa will request confirmation of bank accounts through a secure site – this will also be done electronically. Payment will be done to an approved bank account or – for those without a bank account – through a money transfer.

Importantly, payments will only be made from the date of approval up to the end of October 2020.

“If applicants apply in June, their payments will be from June and there will be no backpay,” Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has said on a previous occasion.

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