Relief for some R350 beneficiaries as Sassa reopens applications
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Cape Town - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has reopened a system for applicants to change their payment method in an effort to resolve challenges some beneficiaries have experienced when trying to access their Social Relief of Distress (SRD) R350 grant from the Post Office.
This comes after several beneficiaries have experienced issues such as client rejection from the online application system and payment delays for the special Covid-19 R350 relief grant.
Relief grant beneficiary Esther Nkulu said that when applying for the grant online, the system is just one of the issues faced by many.
“I've struggled several times just to register and go through with the process. Sometimes the system stops and kicks me out and I have to retry, but being robbed after you get your money is also an issue. You become a target for thieves who linger around the post office, they wait for you until you leave the post office, that's when they come for you,” said Nkulu.
As of Friday last week, applicants of the SRD grant can change their method of payment for their money to be paid into a bank account.
“The agency has confirmed the bank account method as the most convenient and quickest way to receive the grant and avoid queues at the post office. The window to change payment methods opened last Friday, September 3, and will run until September 10, while other social grants are being paid,” said Sassa.
“I feel like this method is beneficial in the sense that I don’t have to stand in long lines or have to wake up early and find transport to a post office and stand in long queues. This method also is beneficial for elderly people, as standing in crowded spaces, despite the fact that they could be vaccinated, remains a great concern for their health. This new method is really convenient as you can do the transaction anywhere you are, so you're not worried about what time you need to get to the post office,” said Nkulu.
Despite the new payment method, Sassa said the SRD grant is not paid by the post office during the regular social grant instalment payments of the old-Age, disability and children's grants.
“Beneficiaries who have received the R350 grant in their Sassa card are advised not to collect at the post office, but to access the money at merchants or bank ATMs. Beneficiaries are reminded that they can also use the card to pay for purchases and not necessarily only to withdraw cash.
“Caregivers are also reminded that individuals who receive child grants and are eligible for the R350 relief grant are paid via their Sassa payment card,” said Sassa.
Going forward, Sassa is reminding beneficiaries that those whose grants are authorised and paid via the post office must wait for an SMS notice that the grant is ready, which will clarify where and when they may pick up their SRD Grant.