Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) food parcels

  • At the beginning of April, emergency funding was made available by the Western Cape DSD to support citizens during the lockdown.
  • This was for the once-off distribution of food parcels to those who met set criteria.
  • This DSD food parcel process ended on 4 May 2020.
  • Requests for Western Cape DSD food parcels that were received before the cut-off will:
    • Be assessed individually and applicants who meet the criteria, will be supplied with a once-off food parcel.
    • All applications received are assessed individually, and DSD officials will contact you to communicate the outcome.
    • No applications for the DSD food parcel made after the cut-off will be processed.
  • To follow up on your application if it was made before the cut-off date, please contact, Toll-Free: 0800 220 250.
  • The DSD food parcel process has been replaced by the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant to support citizens in need.
    • This was announced by the President on 21 April 2020.
    • SASSA is a separate agency from Western Cape DSD.
    • Details on how to apply for the SRD grant will soon be announced by the Minister in charge of SASSA.

SRD Grant

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

An SRD grant is paid to South African citizens or permanent residents, who have insufficient means and meet the following criteria in terms of the Covid19 pandemic:

  • The applicant has been affected by a disaster as defines in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act, 1978.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 21 April 2020 that the SRD Grant would be made available to replace the food parcel initiative as follows:

  • The first payments of the temporary R350-per-month unemployment will be made by 15 May, and will end in October.
  • Applications will initially be received via WhatsApp and email, but field workers will also help those without access to technology.
  • Payment will be from date of approval and there will be no backpay for late applicants.

The temporary Covid-19 grant is for the unemployed over the age of 18, who are receiving no other form of government assistance, including from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. They also can’t live in a government-funded or subsidised institution. The grant will be available to South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees registered with Home Affairs. They have to live in South Africa.

Those who apply for the grants consent that the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) will cross-check their ID, residency, sources of income and welfare benefits with government departments and banks.

Applicants will be able to apply via dedicated new channels through WhatsApp or email, as soon as government regulations about the grants are gazetted. The Minister will announce these details shortly.

Applicants will be required to supply the following:

  • ID number
  • Name and surname (as specified in ID)
  • Gender
  • Any disabilities
  • Contact details
  • Proof of residence
  • Banking account and bank name

Notification of the outcome for a grant application will be sent via the same channel in which the application was filed.

The contact details for SASSA are:

  1. WhatsApp: 0600 123 456
  2. Email: 
  3. Call centre: 0800 029 999