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SASSA New Requirements for SRD Grants Thousands of People No Longer Qualify



SASSA New Requirements for SRD Grants Thousands of People No Longer Qualify

SASSA New Requirements for SRD Grants Thousands of People No Longer Qualify. Millions of vulnerable individuals in South Africa currently rely on the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for financial assistance. However, the agency responsible for paying the grant, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), has faced criticism due to its new payment requirement, causing delays and difficulties in accessing the R350 grant.

SASSA New Requirements for SRD Grants Thousands of People No Longer Qualify

The SRD Grant and Current Beneficiaries: Introduced to assist unemployed individuals in South Africa, the SRD grant has become a crucial lifeline for approximately 7 million people, providing much-needed financial support.

The Pay The Grants Movement and Digital Red Tape

The Pay The Grants movement has raised concerns about the distribution of the R350 grant, citing issues with digital red tape imposed by Sassa. Beneficiaries have faced challenges accessing their funds, with many experiencing a “referred status” or lack of support from Sassa when attempting to access their grants.

Challenges in the Application Process

The Pay The Grants Deputy Chairperson, Elizabeth Raiters, expressed that beneficiaries have struggled with the digital red tape, and the current system may not be efficient for everyone. She suggested alternative methods, such as conducting biometric verification at Sassa offices or involving post offices to assist with the process.

Referred SRD Grant Status

The “referred SRD grant status” occurs when an application is randomly selected for internal verification and quality assurance. It may also indicate that the cell phone number used for the SRD grant application has been flagged by the South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS).

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New Biometric Identity Verification Requirement

Sassa introduced a new requirement for some SRD grant beneficiaries, necessitating biometric identity verification. The goal is to identify and prevent dishonest individuals from wrongfully benefiting from the grant. This requirement applies to clients with a referred SRD status and to SRD beneficiaries wishing to update their mobile numbers.

Facial Recognition and Verification Process

Beneficiaries must complete facial recognition using a mobile phone camera to undergo biometric identity verification. Sassa will send two SMSs to those requiring verification, with the second SMS containing a link to start the process. Once completed, the matter will be resolved within five working days, and the grant payment will be issued.

Communication and Support

While the new requirement is deemed adequate, Sassa acknowledges the need for improved communication and support to ensure beneficiaries understand the system and receive necessary assistance during the verification process.

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