The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has made the first payments of the government’s R26.7bn social relief of distress (SRD) grant and further disbursements to applicants are set to continue over the next few days.

Applications for the R350 grant to assist the unemployed, most of whom lost their jobs when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, close at the end of March 2022. Applications for the programme opened on August 6 after the previous SRD grant ended in May.

Sassa received just over 8.9-million applications, 59% of which were from, women, in all nine provinces.

“Payments of this grant are channelled through direct deposits into approved beneficiaries’ bank accounts, via mobile money transfers and through the SA Post Office,” Sassa said in a statement Wednesday. 

Sassa and Sapo implemented a joint strategy to avoid over-crowding at post offices during payment, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection and to ensure social distancing, according to the statement. The last three digits of approved beneficiaries’ identity numbers will be used for payment collection on a specific day. 

“Most importantly, if a person has not received an SMS from Sassa notifying them that the grant is available for collection, it means the grant is not available yet. In other words, every approved applicant must wait for an SMS confirming that the grant is available before approaching the post office,” the statement said.

Sassa urged applicants not to go to the post office to just check whether the grant is available.

The function for all applicants to start checking their status on the system will be available later this week.



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