Using the Moya App to check your R350 grant application? Sassa says you shouldn't

Applicants say they're using it because the original app seems 'broken', while company says it's trying to help with data-free access to grant application site

12 August 2021 - 10:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Sassa's systems have been slowed down by a deluge of applications for the R350 grant. File photo.
Sassa's systems have been slowed down by a deluge of applications for the R350 grant. File photo.
Image: South African Gov‏ via Twitter

As applications for the Covid-19 R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant come in, the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has issued a warning to applicants against using the “Moya App” to apply.

The agency said the app is not an authorised channel to apply or check the status of applications for the grant and urged users to instead use its channels, including the Sassa website and its social media pages. 

Moya is a legitimate app but is not in partnership with the agency regarding applications for the grant.

Gour Lentell, CEO of Datafree Africa, told TimesLIVE the company never claimed that Moya is an official Sassa application.

“Our app connects people #datafree (that is, users do not incur data costs) to the official grant application website. Moya merely acts as a conduit allowing our Moya users #datafree access to the SRD website.

“In no way do we interfere with, play a part or collect data related to a user’s application on the SRD website. We do not receive the grant applications.

Lentell continued: “We currently have more than 1-million people per day accessing the SRD website #datafree (without them incurring data costs). We do this at our reverse-billed mobile data cost, thus saving users having to have mobile data balance on their SIM cards or taking from their SIM data balance to access the site. 

“This a very significant investment on our part for the benefit of all people in SA. The value of the Moya App is evident in the user comments below the Sassa Facebook post in question."

They had reached out to several Sassa officials in an attempt to clarify the company's position and to ensure that its users continued to benefit from the Sassa grant application without incurring data costs.

“We are disappointed that we have not yet had a response from Sassa,” Lentell said

One Twitter user asked: “What is going to happen when you apply via the Moya App?” — to which Sassa responded: “Sassa does not recognise Moya App.”

Another concerned user said they applied via the app and were informed that the status of their application “is pending”.

Among a slew of other concerns was the agency's slow website, which some users said they were unable to access to launch their applications.

The agency issued a statement last Friday, the first day of applications, saying it would soon launch a USSD (mobile) channel to help speed up the application process after its system had slowed down.

Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula said the flood of applications was a clear indication of the need for government aid.

“This is a clear indication of the huge need for food aid, among others, from distressed inhabitants of the country, and therefore President Cyril Ramaphosa couldn’t have reinstated the grant at a better time,” said Memela-Khambula. 

The agency told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that it had received more than 2-million applications for the grant. 

TimesLIVE


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