SASSA concerned high number of R350 grant applications will strain systems

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it is concerned that a high number of applications for Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant will put a strain on its systems. It says hundreds of thousands of South Africans have already registered for the R350 grant.

Applications for the grant opened on Friday morning.

People who have no income and do not receive any other government support are eligible to apply. R26.7 billion has been set aside for the grant.

“From this morning we experienced a large number of applicants. Like we’re having about 2 000 applicants per minute, which brought some stress into the system. However, the applications are still going through. We are monitoring the system together with our IT section. Today is not the first and the last day, they have until month end to make an application,” says SASSA Head of Communications Paseka Letsatsi.

Meanwhile, SASSA says it is investigating other platforms for people to use to apply for the grant.

“The other measure which we introduced is another platform where people can then go and download the App. And then go to messenger and then basically make the applications, in case other platforms are not helping them,” says Letsatsi.

Unpacking SASSA’s Social Relief of Distress grant with Busisiwe Memela:

Letsatsi says they haven’t decided on the final number of applications the budget can accommodate.

“We will make that assessment as we go forward. But in the last cycle, we had about 6 million people. But obviously, we would make some projections. We definitely make that assessment because this grant is supposed to last until next year March,” says Letsatsi.

He says they are still busy with their investigations into fraudulent SRD applications that were paid out the first time the grants were paid.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says people must only send one application to one of the platforms.

“Any of the following frontline application channels may be used. Firstly, through the website at srd.sassa.gov.za and through our WhatsApp line on 082 046 8553,” says Zulu.

Application opens for Social Relief of Distress grant: Paseka Letsatsi