1. Background

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation and a national disaster by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. The President further escalated measures to contain the COVID-19 spread by enforcing a nation-wide lockdown for an initial twenty-one ("21") days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020. On Thursday 09 April 2020 President further announced an extension of the lockdown for another 14 days until 30 April 2020.

Subsequently on 18 April 2020, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, published Directive 05/2020 (COVID-19 Directive No5 document) issuing instructions to SETAs that payment of stipends to learners during the nationwide lockdown should be continued in full, until further notice. It should be noted therefore that Directive 05/2020 rescinds all prior communication relating to the matter of learner stipends.

In response to Directive 05/2020 the MQA is implementing a stipend relief programme to benefit both the learners and employers who are implementing or participating in MQA programmes. This entails the payment of a stipend to all learners currently participating in the MQA Funded Learning Programmes until further notice. The stipend will be paid to the employer in respect of all MQA-funded unemployed learners, registered and those that are active on MQA Learning Programmes. Guidelines on MQA COVID-19 Learner Stipend Relief Programme (link)

Furthermore, the employers and providers paying these stipends will be required to submit all the necessary supporting documents contained in the attached COVID-19 Guidelines on Stipend Relief Programme, as proof. All other information is contained in the Guidelines, which will also be posted on the MQA website on 29 April 2020.


I. The applications window opens from 01 May 2020 and closes on 31 May 2020.

II. Click here for the Application Form (link)

III. Completed applications and supporting documents can be submitted via email to the MQA stipend relief email address at


Enquiries can be addressed to the following person/s:

No Contact Person Telephone No Email Address

1. Xolisa Njikelana 082 658 9625

2. Bafedile Raseroka 081 037 8401

3. Nonceba Singiswa 082 326 6239



  • The COVID-19 WhatsApp line – 0600 123 456 (call and follow the prompts).
  • Download the Mpilo App that is available at all operating systems. This App allows you to respond to a questionnaire in order to assess your symptoms. Should your scores indicate that you may need testing, NICD Health Assessors will come to you.
  • National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) – 011 386 6400 or their toll-free number 0800 029 999.
  • National Emergency Line 10111.
  • World Health Organisation website –
Monday, May 4, 2020