Apply for the Unemployment Grant of R350.

The grant of R350, administered by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), will also be extended to unemployed caregivers who currently receive child support grants.

Everyone has to reapply. “All applications will be treated as new applications, even those who were receiving the grant before, because maybe some people may have gone and found employment since receiving the grant.”   

Applications for the R350 SASSA Social relief of distress grants are now open.

Applicants must be:
– Above the age of 18;
– Unemployed;
– Not receiving any income;
– Not receiving any social grant;
– Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits;
– Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and
– Not resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.

  • The grant now also includes caregivers and asylum seekers who have proper documentation. Asylum seekers must have a section 22 permit or visas that are valid or were valid on 15 March 2020. 
  • Everyone eligible — from 18 years to 59 years — must apply for this grant even if their application was successful last time. 
  • Send your application through the website, at https://srd.sassa.gov.za, on the WhatsApp line on 082 046 8553, or send an SMS to *134*7737#. An application should be submitted through only one of the above channels.
  • In the WhatsApp message, include your name, surname and ID number. You will then receive a message stating the next steps. 
  • When the application has been approved, you will receive a message requesting your banking details. However, Zulu said it is important for applicants to note that the bank account or the cellphone number provided for payment must be registered in the name of the approved applicant for the grant to ensure that payment goes to the correct recipient.
  • The grant will be paid into the bank account of the beneficiary. For people who do not have bank accounts, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will pay through the South African Post Office (Sapo)/Post Bank, or using a bank mobile money transfers (cash send).
  • Any applicant whose application is approved but not paid because they could not be traced shall forfeit the money to the state after 31 August 2025. They cannot lodge a claim against the state. 
  • For grant inquiries, you can call the Sassa toll-free line on 0800 60 10 11.

NEW – SASSA has expanded Eligibility

The number of people eligible has been increased because individual caregivers who receive a Child Support Grant will now be able to access this R350 grant as well.

Previously woman who were raising children alone were unfairly disadvantaged. As they received a child support grant for their children they could not receive the R350 grant – even though the child support grant is for the children’s needs, not for the caregiver’s needs.

Prospective Applicants will need to provide the following compulsory information for processing of their applications:

– Identity Number;
– Name and Surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
– Gender and Disability;
– Banking details – Bank Name and Account Number;
– Contact details – Cell phone number;
– Proof of Residential Address;

About applying for social relief of distress

Social relief of distress is temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such a dire material need that they are unable to meet their families’ most basic needs.

This could be due to any of the following factors:

  • you need help while you wait for your children’s grants to be processed
  • a crisis or disaster has occurred (e.g. your house has burnt down) 
  • you do not qualify for a grant, and you are in a desperate situation 
  • you are unable to work for a period of less than six month because you are medically unfit 
  • you are unable to get maintenance from the other parent of your child or children 
  • the breadwinner in the family has died 
  • the breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than six months) 
  • you have been affected by a disaster, but the area or community in which you live has not been declared a disaster area.

What do you get?

The Social Relief of Distress may be in the form of a food parcel or a voucher to buy food. Some provinces give this assistance in the form of cash. Social Relief of Distress is given for a short time only – usually for up to three months, which may be extended for another three months.

Who to contact

South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.