South Africa: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in SA Must Get COVID-19 Grant, Court Orders


The South African government has been ordered to include asylum seekers and special permit holders from Lesotho, Angola and Zimbabwe as recipients of the R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant. The court declared a regulation, made by Social Development minister Lindiwe Zulu, as unconstitutional. The administration of the grant seems to have turned into a nightmare for the government as the South African Social Security Agency released a statement admitting that they were aware of large-scale unhappiness about grant applications being refused.

The Pretoria High Court has ordered that the R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant be extended to asylum seekers as well as special permit holders.

Judge Selby Baqwa made the order after hearing legal argument on Thursday.

The court declared directions issued by Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu unconstitutional and unlawful in as far as it had excluded asylum seekers, refugees and special permit holders from accessing the grant.

Baqwa gave the minister five days to quantify the costs of extending the grant to this group of people and another five days to publish amended regulations.

Baqwa said eligible asylum seekers and special permit holders whose applications for the Covid-19 SRD Grant are approved will...

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