Johannesburg – Sassa has pleaded with potential unemployment grant beneficiaries to use their cellphones and email facilities to access their grants instead of storming social security services offices across the country.
This was the plea from Sassa chief executive Busisiwe Memela-Khambula yesterday after several people visited the facility’s offices including its head office in Pretoria demanding to be assisted to access various kinds of social grants.
Included in the long queues were thousands of people who wanted to apply for the six-month temporary R350 unemployment grant ahead of Sassa making its first payments today.
Others included scores of people who had recently lost their jobs and were hoping that the unemployment grant would ease their financial woes while waiting for their Unemployment Insurance Fund payouts.
Memela-Khambula said the first payments today would be sent to more than 50000 people who applied electronically and the 100000 who applied via emails during the piloting phase.
She pointed out that others included some of the 3million people who applied after applications were made open this past Monday.
Memela-Khambula, however, warned that not all 3million applicants would be paid as they would go through a vetting process. She encouraged potential applicants to continue to apply and appealed to them not to upload their IDs, proof of residence including their birth certificates in their WhatsApp applications.
“This has caused a number of glitches in some of the applications,” she said.
In response to two groups who visited Sassa offices, Memela-Khambula was adamant that the reopening of the offices were primarily aimed at assisting applications for old-age, disability, child and foster-care grants.
She maintained that those wanting to access the unemployment grant should, among other platforms, apply via WhatsApp (0820468553) and SMS *134*7737#.
“We’ve received about 3million applications since May 11 and they’re being processed. The first payment batch will be done from Friday. The challenge with this grant is that some applicants visit the Sassa offices and request to apply, which is not possible,” she said.
By Baldwin Ndaba