About applying for social emergency aid
Emergency social assistance is temporary assistance for persons with such serious material needs that they are unable to meet the most basic needs of their families.
This could be due to one 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 are not eligible for a scholarship and you are in a desperate situation
you cannot work for less than six months because you are medically unsuitable
you cannot receive maintenance from the other parent of your child or children
the breadwinner in the family has died
the breadwinner was 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 can take the form of a food package or receipt to buy food. Some provinces provide this aid in the form of cash. Social Relief of Distress is only given for a short time – usually for a period of up to three months, which can be extended by another three months.
What you should do
Request emergency social assistance from your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office.
Submit your application with the following documents:
your 13-digit barcode ID and your children’s birth certificates.
if your ID and / or a birth certificate are not available:
an affidavit by order of a justice of the peace. The affidavit must contain a clause indicating that the provision of incorrect or inaccurate information will lead to prosecution within the meaning of section 21 of the Social Assistance Act, 2004.
a sworn statement from a reputable person who knows the applicant and the child. This can be from an alderman, traditional leader, social worker or minister of religion.
proof that an application for a birth certificate or identity document has been submitted to the Ministry of the Interior.
if applicable, a temporary identity document issued by the Ministry of the Interior.
a baptismal certificate.
a way to the map of the clinic.
a report card.
Note: No application can be processed without the affidavit / affidavit.
If you do not have proof of identity and birth certificates, a statement from your local police station, chief, city councilor or religious leader may be sufficient evidence.
Show proof that you:
have applied for a grant
had an emergency (e.g. file a police report that your house was burned down)
have tried to get maintenance
have no other support
be married, divorced or single
have no income
have a short-term medical disability.
How long does it take
Your request will be processed immediately.
Once submitted, your application will be assessed for credibility and your actual need for the service.
Even if you do not have all the documents, you will receive your food package, voucher or cash in the first month.
Do not forget to bring all documents to the officer before payment is due for the second month. If you don’t, you may not get your food package, voucher, or cash for the second and third months.
If your situation does not change after you have received the grant for three months, you can request an extension for another three months.
How much is it
The service is free.
To fill in forms
The application form is not available online, but can be obtained from your nearest SASSA office.
Who to contact
South African Social Security Service (SASSA)