“How to apply food parcel for unemployed people in South Africa for Covid-19,” reads an 11 May 2020 Facebook post.
It tells users to comment with their location to get a food parcel application form. “If you can’t apply online just click ‘SHAR£’ we will inbox you more details.”
South Africa has been in strict lockdown since late March 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Some restrictions were eased on 1 May, allowing selected industries to return to work. But many businesses remain closed, and thousands of people are likely to lose their jobs. The government has launched social relief measures to help people through this time, including providing food parcels.
But should you apply for food parcels on Facebook? No, the post is a scam.
Signs of a fake
The post is on the Facebook page “Transnet Jobs”, which usually advertises jobs in South Africa. It does not include any details from the Department of Social Development or the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the agencies responsible for social relief.
The page itself raises a number of red flags. Its posts are full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. And the links don’t take you to any official websites. The setup is similar to a number of other Facebook pages Africa Check has investigated for posting false job adverts.
So how do you apply for a food parcel?
“One has to call the Sassa toll-free number 0800 601 011 and chose option 3,” Kgomoco Diseko, senior manager of media relations at Sassa, previously told Africa Check.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Fighting coronavirus misinformation
Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Learn more about the alliance here.
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