SASSA’s online applications portal hits a snag

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The online portal announced by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for online applications of certain social grants wasn’t working at the time of publication.

This morning, SASSA revealed that as of today, it is piloting an online system for the application of certain social grants.

It added that the pilot will run until 25 September, and citizens can begin to lodge applications via the designated portal.

The social security agency says the portal will, at this stage, cover the child support, older persons and foster child grants, adding that other grants will be added to the portal after reviewing the system.

In addition to applications, the portal aims to enable the submission of the required supporting documentation, change of circumstances (namely payment method, banking details and address), as well as application status updates.

However, ITWeb and some other aspirant social grant applicants have been unable to access the site.

ITWeb tried to access it via the Google Chrome browser, but it brings up a message that says: “This site can’t be reached.”

Other users took to social media network Twitter to indicate that the site can’t be accessed.

@demolen254 tweeted:" The web page can't open says error."

@ViljoenLeonard shares a similar tweet: "Your website does not work…Unbelievable."

Another user @QueenThako tweeted: “The save button is not working for registration account.”

In a tweet, @Victorpjrebelo says: “Already got glitches, you can’t register in the site.”

Responding to the above tweet, @OfficialSASSA states: “Remember, this is the first of its kind at SASSA and is still on pilot stages. Please be patient, we will get the grip of it.”

According to SASSA, it decided to introduce the online application process in order to bring relief to grant applicants, saving them the inconvenience of standing in queues at its offices in order to apply for grants.

“The added advantage is that the convenience of online applications eliminates the risk of being infected with the COVID-19 virus because there will be no need to gather at public places in order to apply. This remote self-service will be possible on both a computer and a mobile phone.

“The turnaround time is 10 days, provided the applicant supplies all the stipulated documents, such as identity documents of applicant and spouse, as well as banking details, among others.”

SASSA advises applicants to have an e-mail address to sign up and to be able to login for further services.

“Feedback to applicants will be sent through SMS notification…an e-mail response will be sent to applicants choosing to be contacted by e-mail. A receipt will be generated when the application is completed.

“It is important to note that required supporting documents to be attached must be certified. These documents should be certified by a commissioner of oaths,” it concludes.

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