JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Social Development (DSD) on Tuesday urged people who did not qualify for the R350 special COVID-19 grant to stop applying because the applications blocked the system.

The department said it had come across applicants who applied more than once and, in some instances, people who were already receiving a form of social grant benefit.

The fund was formed for people who are unemployed and did not receive any income from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) or the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said they were going through all applications to ensure that money was paid to the right beneficiaries.

“We would have people who are getting NSFAS, UIF, and people who are appearing to be benefiting from the same social grant system,” Letsatsi said.

Earlier this week, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu assured South Africans that 140,000 unemployed people would get their R350 special grant this week.

Letsatsi urged applicants to follow all the requirements when applying for the fund.

“If you fall within a particular category, do not make an application. Sometimes these applications clog the system unnecessarily,” he said.

He said over five million people had applied but following verification, they had more than two million applicants left.

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