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COVID-19 SRD Grant Under the Spotlight

February 15, 2021

Social Security Agency

The Social Security Agency (SASSA) has confirmed that all current recipients of the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant do not have to reapply.

The grant has been extended by a further three months.

In a statement, SASSA indicated that in excess of 9,6 million applications have been processed each month from May 2020 to January 2021 with more than 6,5 million grants paid per month totaling over R16 billion.

SASSA added that “every application will be validated monthly as it has been the case, and if approved will be paid”.

Meanwhile, the health minister, Zweli Mkhize, has indicated that new vaccine roll-out plans will be announced when supplies have been secured.

The minister briefed the portfolio committee on health on the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s vaccine against the 501Y.V2 variant.

The minister informed the committee that government is disappointed by the developments around the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“But we have new rollout plans in place to ensure that vaccines are dispensed to save lives”, he said.

When asked what will happen to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the health minister responded that local scientists will do their own study to determine the next steps.

The minister confirmed that the distribution of the vaccine has been officially suspended for now “until a scientific determination is made”.

The minister added that government has spoken to “Johnson & Johnson, whose vaccine has a 57% efficacy rate to our variant, to afford us a bridging stock that was part of their research trials in order for us to be able to dispense doses to the frontline staff”.