The Social Relief of Distress grant otherwise known as the R350 Grant is only a few months into paying out grants since being reintroduced this year. However, the agency has been plagued by a number of issues when processing payments to beneficiaries.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has been distributing and processing payments of the Social Relieve of Distress (SRD) grant since its reintroduction earlier this year. However, the process has not been without any hurdles and difficulties, particularly as it concerns delayed payments.
According to a recent Social Relief of Distress Grant progress report by the Minister to National Council of Provinces: health and social services, SRD grant recipients not updating their details on the system is one of the key issues that they have encountered..
An SMS is sent when it’s time for this cohort of grant recipients to withdraw money from a merchant, and it must be used in conjunction with an identity document ID to complete the transaction.
Additionally, Sassa’s Executive Manager for Grants, Brenton Van Vrede also stated that the SMS is delivered to the old, defunct number because SRD grant beneficiaries change their cell phone numbers but fail to notify and update the Sassa system.
He also advised beneficiaries recipients to consistently update their contact detail in the system. Due to the system’s periodic changes, a delay after updating details should also be expected.
Furthermore, since several generators had been malfunctioning over the previous few months, Sassa further stated that load shedding was also partly to blame for certain problems at Post Bank.
Maintaining functionality when the primary system is down is challenging, but most of those issues have been overcome.
In addition to this, certain SRD beneficiaries encountered issues when trying to withdraw their R350 grant funds as they would often receive an SMS informing them that they have insufficient funds.
Beneficiaries should always keep in mind that the agency also checks the applicant’s Identity number against databases from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and South African Revenue Service (SARS).
Those who feel they have been wrongfully rejected have been encouraged to contact the abovementioned organisations to get them to remove their details from the system before applying for an appeal from Sassa.