News / South Africa

Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
13 Aug 2021
4:57 pm

More than five million South Africans apply for SRD grant

Siyanda Ndlovu

The agency said that the highest number of applicants were in the 20 to 24 age group, followed by 25 to 29.

Picture: Flickr/GovernmentZA

More than five million people have submitted their applications for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) revealed on Friday.

The agency said that the highest number of applicants were in the 20 to 24 age group, followed by 25 to 29, lamenting that this was a sign of higher unemployment among young people.

Sassa added two new channels, hoping to ease the pressure on the website and the WhatsApp line: an app option called gov.chat, and Facebook messenger.

Last Friday, Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula said that their application channels (WhatsApp and the website) experienced massive traffic 45 minutes after the opening of the applications, resulting to a system crash.

Since then the department has expanded its application channels and added gov.chat and Facebook messenger in an attempt to ease the pressure on the website and the WhatsApp line.

ALSO READ: Don’t all apply at once for Covid grant, Sassa urges as system crashes

On Wednesday night at 23:35, the department said that it had on its system “5,185 people per min on the website.This heavy traffic slows our system down. We call for patience- everyone will be able to apply for the Covid-19 SRD grant. If you apply any day in August you will still get the August payment if you qualify.”

On Thursday, the Sassa systems were also under severe pressure, spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi revealed in an interview with Moneyweb’s Ryk van Niekerk. 

She said while the website has not crashed, users are encouraged to download the GovChat application.

“I think it’s a little bit slow,” said Letsatsi.

She said Sassa’s system was “under stress”, but that the agency’s IT division was working on it, to accommodate as many applicants as possible.