It’s probably long overdue, but beneficiaries can now elect to have their SASSA SRD grants paid directly into their bank accounts.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has announced that they have come up with a mechanism to try and make the collection of COVID-19 SRD grants more easily available to frustrated beneficiaries, who have been forced to stand in long queues outside local Post Offices and often leave empty handed when funds at said offices run out.
By completing an online form that is soon to be made available, beneficiaries will be able to specify bank accounts of their choice for the funds to be deposited into their bank accounts – an option which frankly should have been available from the get-go, despite many beneficiaries not currently having active bank accounts to begin with.
SASSA SRD BENEFICIARIES MUST UPDATE PAYMENT METHODS
In a statement released on Thursday 30 July, SASSA said that their new offering would allow beneficiaries to receive their grants at far more convenient locations than the current system is allowing.
“SASSA presents beneficiaries of the COVID-19 grant with the opportunity to receive their grants at their chosen and convenient outlets. Beneficiaries can now change from one payment method to another. They can change from receiving their grant at the Post Office to a bank account of their choice, or vice versa,” they said.
They said that to make this possible, SASSA would be opening its system for beneficiaries to update their payment channel on Monday 3 August, with the window open until Sunday 9 August. Approved beneficiaries of the COVID-19 Social Relief or Distress grant can change their payment method on their official website.
Beneficiaries should take note of the following:
- If you still need to visit a Post Office to collect your funds, don’t visit a post office until you have received an SMS notification that the funds are available;
- Ensure that the account listed in the new payment preference field is registered in your name;
- Ensure that the cell phone number provided is correct and registered in your name.
They also warned that beneficiaries should do their best to avoid visiting Post Offices to collect their grants during the first week of the month, as this time period is generally reserved for the paying out of normal SASSA grants.
BENEFICIARIES LEAVING EMPTY HANDED FROM CONGESTED POST OFFICES
SASSA said that they have introduced this innovative new feature due to the ongoing complaints being levelled against them by beneficiaries tired of being refused their grants and being made to stand around all day in environments that do little to facilitate social distancing.
“This development is a response to the challenges some of the beneficiaries have experienced in trying to access their special relief grant from post offices. The challenges reported include long queues and the fact that funds run out at times,” they said.
“Beneficiaries end up having to be sent home empty handed.”
They said that if beneficiaries don’t have bank accounts, they should strongly consider getting one as the new portal allows for far more efficient transfer of funds.
“The payment of the special grants is quicker if paid into a bank account,” they said. “Citizens without bank accounts are thus encouraged to open an account. There are many entry level, inexpensive options in the market – some of which can be opened online.”
SASSA CEO Totsie Mamela said that beneficiaries can help her help them by updating their details.
“Please help SASSA to help you access your money to which you are entitled without delay by ensuring that your details are correct, the payment channel most convenient to you is selected and that the information provided is accurate,” Mamela said.