Covid-19

Coronavirus South Africa: how to apply for unemployment grant

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa announced a new coronavirus unemployment grant of R350 a month for the next six months until October.

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Coronavirus South Africa: how to apply for unemployment grant
JEROME DE LAY / POOL EFE

At the end of March the South Africa president announced one of the toughest lockdowns anywhere in the world, banning anyone but essential workers from leaving home except to buy food or medicine, and prohibiting alcohol sales.

The measures appear to have halted a steep rise in new cases, but the economic impact of the lockdown is wreaking havoc on an economy that was already in recession, and it threatens to push South Africa's poor, who on one measure make up half of the country, deeper into poverty.

Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South AfricaA police officer detains a local as a member of the military looks on during a nationwide lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Soweto, South Africa April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Ramaphosa pledged to prioritise "the relief of hunger and social distress across our communities," including with the distribution of 250,000 food parcels in the coming week.

350 Rand monthly payment

The president also confirmed a new coronavirus unemployment grant of R350 a month for the next six months until October.

The South African Social Security Agency stated that all applicants could apply for the grant and carry out brief means test to ensure eligibility.

Once registered in the system, the SASSA anticipate making payments at the beginning of May with beneficiaries receiving a monthly payment through to October 2020 with the funds being paid as an e-voucher, a mobile money transfer or bank account transfer.

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