SASSA enables changes for easier access to COVID-19 grant

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has opened its system to approved beneficiaries of the COVID-19 grant, allowing them to alter banking details online, which it says will make it easier for them to collect payment.

The agency says beneficiaries can now change from receiving their grant at the South African Post Office to a bank account of their choice, or vice versa. They also have the flexibility to move from one bank to another.

“This development is a response to the challenges some beneficiaries have experienced in trying to access their special relief grant from post offices,” says the agency.

“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 (SRD) grants 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.”

From Monday, 3 August, to Sunday, 9 August, approved beneficiaries of the COVID-19 SRD grant can change their payment method.

SASSA is appealing to beneficiaries to update their details to ensure their information is captured correctly.

“If choosing a bank account, ensure 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.”

It adds 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”.

SASSA CEO Totsie Memela explains: “If choosing a money transfer option, please ensure the cellphone number provided is correct and is registered in your name. Just like with a bank account, SASSA cannot pay the grant into a cellphone which is registered to another person.

“We are a listening government and these changes emanate from beneficiaries who appealed to us to provide them this flexibility and we duly obliged,” Memela continued.

“Please help SASSA to help you access the money to which you are entitled without delay by ensuring your details are correct, the payment channel most convenient to you is selected and that the information provided is accurate.”

Memela cautions that any citizen who does not update their information during this window period, or who provides incorrect banking details, will have the payments for the remaining months sent through to the post office.

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