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Almost 9-million applications came in for Covid-19 R350 grant

Sassa applicants can use WhatsApp to check the status of their R350 grant applications. File pic.
Sassa applicants can use WhatsApp to check the status of their R350 grant applications. File pic.
Image: South African Gov‏ via Twitter

Almost 9-million South Africans have applied for the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant.

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu released the stats in response to a question from the UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa regarding the long queues at paypoints where the R350 was being paid.

Kwankwa was concerned about the lack of use of bank accounts for transactions, instead compelling beneficiaries to stand in queues that were not in compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols.

“Information provided as at August 18 2021 is that, of the 8,931,375 applications received, 6,817,229 (76%) have provided information on bank accounts. This information still has to be verified to confirm which accounts can be used for the grant.

“Sassa is dependent on the provision of information on bank accounts which is provided by the applicants. In cases where no bank account details are provided, Sassa is obliged to effect payment through the post office, as there is no alternative,” Zulu said.

She said alternative methods such as engaging with banks to transact the payments will be made.

“While this solution is yet to be tested, it is believed that it will significantly reduce the number of citizens who have to report in person at post offices.

“The post office has confirmed that they will stagger payments according to the last three digits of the ID number, to reduce the number of people who report to any one post office in a single day. They will employ active queue monitors to manage compliance to Covid-19 protocols,” she said.

Zulu added that where beneficiaries use their own bank accounts, there are bank charges which they have to cover themselves.

“However, when they are paid through the post office, they are able to access their full grant amount without bank charges,” she said.


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