Question NW1580 to the Minister of Social Development

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15 June 2023 - NW1580

Profile picture: Arries, Ms LH

Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

In light of the high unemployment rate in the Republic and the total number of grant applicants who cannot afford a cellphone and/or data to apply for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, which measures have been put in place to ensure that persons who do not have the necessary means are able to apply for the SRD grant?


Cell phone coverage in South Africa is one of the highest in the world, and smart phone coverage is estimated to be above 80%. Furthermore, the demographic for the COVID-19 SRD are working age people, who are actively seeking for employment, of which a cell phone is a key tool for such.

SASSA has also zero rated its application portal. Therefore, anyone can access it, even if they do not have data.

Lastly, application can be lodged on any person’s device (it does not need to be the applicant’s own device). It is estimated that there are more than 22 million people with smartphones in South Africa. Compared to approximately 400 local office where physical grant application can be lodged. It is easier to access a smartphone from a family member, friend or neighbour than a local office.

SASSA is however, considering installing kiosks at local offices in future, where applicants may also lodge an application.

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