The agency responsible for the payment of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is now facing criticism after their latest announcement about the New SRD Grant Requirement.
Civil society is launching litigation against the government over the unfair regulations that govern the social relief of distress (SRD) grant. We are challenging the arbitrary means test of R350, which deprives millions of people in need of government assistance and regresses developments of the right to social assistance for hundreds of thousands who qualified for this assistance previously.
The South African Social Security Agency in response to the distribution of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant which is paid to more than 7 million people monthly. However, some grant receipts won’t be able to receive the grant via their preferred payment method.
Sassa advised grant applicants who don’t own smartphones not to choose the EFT payment method. The agency explained, “The EFT payment method requires smart phones with the corresponding apps for such transactions. The Customer Care unit in Mpumalanga has received numerous complaints from beneficiaries where they fail to process the EFT payment.”
Sassa says this suggestion should be severe as a caution to beneficiaries to choose a suitable method of payment to avoid any inconvenience and prevent delays in grant payments.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament and social development representative Bridget Masango says Sassa should have thought about the accessibility issue before making the application
Applications for the grant must be done using the R350 online grant application website.
Masango said, “You cannot introduce an online-only application process and not ensure that all the Ts are crossed and Is are dotted for the people that may not even have their own cell phone, they will go and ask someone else to assist them to apply for this grant.”
Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi called on clients to ensure that all the details they provide during the grant application process are correct. Any incorrect details will delay grant payments.
Lestsatsi said, “We have also picked up that people tend to give us that cell number which might be wrong with one digit so it makes you look as if it’s not the rightful owner of the cell phone”.
Delays in SRD grant payments have been further compounded by beneficiaries changing their banking details. This, as a change in the banking details, would require Sassa to run an additional verification check with banks to check if an applicant exceeds the grant income threshold.
The SRD grant is the only Sassa grant that cannot be applied for at a Sassa office, hence, applications for the grant must be done using the R350 online grant application website.