The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has received a staggering 13.5-million applications for the social relief of distress grant as of the end of January 2023. This figure highlights the extent of the economic hardship that many South Africans are facing, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the country’s economy.
The social relief of distress grant was first introduced in April 2020 as a temporary measure to provide financial assistance to individuals who had lost their income due to the pandemic. The grant was extended twice, and it is currently set to run until March 2024. The grant provides a monthly payment of R350 to eligible individuals.
The high number of applications received by SASSA is a clear indication of the impact that the pandemic has had on South Africa’s economy. Many people have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. The social relief of distress grant provides a much-needed lifeline for those who are in dire need of financial assistance.
What is particularly concerning is that more than 716,000 of the applications received were from graduates. This highlights the extent of the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa. Despite having completed their studies, many young people are struggling to find employment, leaving them with no option but to turn to social grants for support.
The high number of applications received by SASSA also highlights the need for the government to implement long-term solutions to address the root causes of poverty and unemployment in the country. While social grants provide temporary relief, they are not a sustainable solution to the economic challenges that many South Africans face.
The high number of applications received by SASSA for the social relief of distress grant is a clear indication of the economic hardship that many South Africans are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the grant provides a much-needed lifeline for those in need, it is important for the government to implement long-term solutions to address the root causes of poverty and unemployment in the country. This is particularly important for young people, who are the future of the country, and who need opportunities to access education and secure employment.
Source : SASSA