Sassa pleads with R350 grant applicants to wait for SMS before heading to a post office

30 August 2021 - 09:00 By unathi nkanjeni
The SA Post Office has introduced a system for grant beneficiaries to avoid long queues and ensure social distancing. File photo.
The SA Post Office has introduced a system for grant beneficiaries to avoid long queues and ensure social distancing. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has pleaded with recipients of the R350 social relief of distress grant to not flock to post offices to collect their payments before receiving an SMS. 

The agency kick-started the first batch of the payments last Wednesday after the grant was reinstated for the second phase of payouts last month. 

Speaking on SABC News recently, Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said applicants who did not provide their banking details when applying for the grant should wait for an SMS notifying them about payment collection at post office. 

“We want to emphasise to applicants that if you did not give us your banking details, please do not go to a post office if you don’t have an SMS from Sassa that states the grant has been approved,” said Letsatsi. 

“If you go to a post office because your neighbour told you they received their SMS, you won’t be assisted.” 

Letsatsi said the SMS system is intended to avoid glitches and comply with Covid-19 regulations to prevent overcrowding in branches.

According to Sassa, more than 10 million people applied for the grant. At least six million beneficiaries will receive their R350 grant payments by the end of the month. The agency told TimesLIVE it will pay out R2.1bn this month alone.

SA Post Office spokesperson Johan Kruger told TimesLIVE last week that collection dates are determined by the beneficiary’s last three digits of their ID. 

“They will receive an SMS from Sassa to say the grant is ready for collection. We are also working on an SSD code  which the beneficiaries will soon be able to use on their phones to check if there is money waiting for them,” he said.

PAYMENT DATES FOR THE REST OF AUGUST

The payment dates for the rest of August, according to the last three digits of beneficiaries’ ID numbers, are as follows: 

August 30

084 and 089

August 31

080 and 085


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