Watch: Community expresses angst over end to Sassa R350 grant – Boksburg Advertiser


There are growing calls for government to extend the R350 social relief distress grant, which is being stopped at the end of January.
The grant was introduced in May as part of the Covid-19 Relief Fund, which sought to assist unemployed people who were unable to look for employment during lockdown.
Initially, the grant was supposed to cease in October but President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extension to January to help further ease the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown.
While most beneficiaries were relieved that the grant was extended until January, reality has struck that there might not be a second chance this time around.
The Advertiser spoke to a few unemployed people outside the Boksburg Post Office on January 20 who depend on the money for survival.
Brendon Webster (21) said since he started getting the R350 grant it has been his lifeline.
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“Every month I would deposit the money at a local grocery store for my family to withdraw and buy groceries with it. The money has been of great help to me, I don’t know where I’ll get money from if government decides to stop it,” Webster said.
Another young person, Jessica Lottering, highlighted that she used to spend the money on toiletries and hair.
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Meanwhile, Thapelo Manyathela (30), from Windmill Park, shared that he was saddened that the relief grant was coming to an end.
“Though we had to endure waking up early in order to join the queue outside the post office, from as early as 4am, the money has been of great help. The process now is much better because the post office has introduced a new system where we now come on specific dates for the money. This helps to shorten the queues,” Manyathela said.
Another beneficiary, Warren Theron, said his application was declined for May, June and July but luckily he received the money in August and September.
“If government decides to stop the grant, we will have to make alternative means to survive,” Theron said.
Sassa spokesperson in Gauteng Nandi Mosia said applicants for the social relief of distress grants have until February to appeal against the rejection of their applications.
“Appellants must be individuals who applied between November and January,” she said.
The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has since proposed that the poverty alleviation measure be extended beyond the end of this month.
ALSO READ: Calls for government to extend R350 relief grant beyond October

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