The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has introduced a new payment method that presents Covid-19 grant recipients with an opportunity to receive their grants at their chosen and convenient outlets.
Beneficiaries can now choose to receive their grants at the South African Post Office or a bank account of their choice. They also have the flexibility to move from one bank to another, said Sassa on Thursday.
“This development is a response to the challenges some beneficiaries have experienced in trying to access their special relief grant from Post Offices. The challenges reported, include long queues and the fact that funds run out at times. Beneficiaries end up having to be sent home empty handed. Beneficiaries of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress are requested not to visit the Post Office during the first seven days of the month as that week is reserved for payment of the normal grants.
“It is important for beneficiaries to understand that they should not go to the Post Office before they have received the SMS notification that says funds are available. The SMS notification is used to limit the numbers of people reporting to a Post Office on a particular day and also to ensure that sufficient cash is available.
“The appeal is for everyone who does update the details to ensure that their information is captured correctly – if choosing a bank account, ensure that the account is in your name (SASSA cannot pay money for one person into the account held by another) and that the bank account is not closed. The payment process is delayed if money is sent to a closed account, as SASSA has to wait for the funds to be returned before sending it to the Post Office for collection,” said Sassa CEO Totsie Memela.
Those who choose the money transfer option must ensure that the provided cellphone number is correct and registered in their name.
The payment of the special grants is quicker if paid into a bank account, said Memela, further urging those without bank accounts to open one with a bank of their choice.
“Please help SASSA to help you access the money to which you are entitled without delay by ensuring that your details are correct, the payment channel most convenient to you is selected and that the information provided is accurate.
“We are a listening government and these changes emanate from beneficiaries who appealed to us to provide them this flexibility and we duly obliged,” said Memela.
Sassa has opened its system for approved citizens to update the channel through which payment should be made from Monday, 03 August to Sunday, 09 August.
Approved beneficiaries of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant can change their payment method by visiting www.srd.sassa.gov.za from 03 to 09 August to 2020.
Those who do not their information during this window period, or provide incorrect banking details will have the payments for the remaining months sent through to the post office, Memela warned.