Google has revealed its list of trending topics for 2021 and “Sassa status check” for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant took the top spot, highlighting the socioeconomic struggles endured by millions of South Africans during the second year of the pandemic.
The grant was originally introduced in April 2020 to assist young people who were unable to look for employment as a result of the lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic.
The grant was reinstated by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July and will be paid until March 2022.
Sassa allows applicants to check the status of their applications by sending their reference numbers via WhatsApp.
“How to apply for R350 grant?” was the most popular “How to” question on Google this year. “How to check Sassa balance?”, “How to claim UIF online?” and “How to apply for NSFAS?” also made the list.
Application process for the special Covid-19 SRD grant @The_DSD @nda_rsa @PostofficeSa @GovernmentZA @GCISMedia #SASSACARES pic.twitter.com/XjsSOAzlK7
“What is state of emergency?” and “What is Covid-19” were among the most popular “What is” questions this year.
Former president Jacob Zuma, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and fired ANC staffer Carl Niehaus were among the most searched for personalities this year.
Retired news anchor Noxolo Grootboom is also on the list.
Sport personalities who made the list were Tatjana Schoenmaker and Percy Tau.
Entertainment personalities included singer and TV presenter Zola 7, Prince Kaybee and the late amapiano star Mpura.
Sassa gives beneficiaries a variety of payment options to choose from, including bank accounts, cash send and through the SA Post Office.
The agency encountered challenges with the “cash send” option in October after 1.5-million people were not able to access their payments.
The agency’s Paseka Letsatsi told TimesLIVE the delay was due to Sassa not finalising a deal with banking institutions.
Beneficiaries of the R350 grant can also collect their payment at a post office.
Each beneficiary is assigned a payment date depending on their ID number, and can collect their grant at a SA Post Office branch as soon as they receive confirmation of payment from Sassa.
Here’s when you can collect your grant:
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