The department of social development has announced that applications for the special Covid-19 social relief grant will now be opened on Saturday at noon.On Friday, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu published regulations for the R350 social grant through a proclamation in the Government Gazette.
In February, the department put out regulations for public comment. The process has been concluded and government thanked all contributors and participants for the discussions and helpful comments they provided to enhance the regulations.
Zulu said the final steps, such as obtaining the required concurrence and certification from the relevant departments, had now been concluded.
The grant was introduced in 2020 and distributed in terms of the Disaster Management Act to assist those who were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his state of the nation address in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the provision of the grant to March next year.
The department’s spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, said with the national state of disaster being lifted this month, the department had endeavoured to develop the regulatory framework for the payment of the grant within the social assistance legislation.
“This is why there were no payouts in April, as the department is now working under a new regulation. The Covid-19 social grant will now be provided for under a new legislative framework, and additional qualifying and assessment criteria will be added. Those who need assistance will have to apply for the Covid-19 social relief of distress grant or reapply if they previously received this grant. Fortunately, the entire application system remains a purely digital process, thereby enabling quick access and turnaround times,” she said.
The department said applications would be lodged on the SA Social Security Agency’s website and that further communication would be issued when more application channels were opened.
Oliphant said all applicants were reminded that they would be considered for the grant from the month in which the application was lodged, and this would be validated every month.
Zulu is expected to hold a media briefing soon to provide further details on the implementation of the distribution process.