The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has pleaded with recipients of the R350 social relief of distress grant to not flock to post offices to collect their payments before receiving an SMS.
The agency kick-started the first batch of the payments last Wednesday after the grant was reinstated for the second phase of payouts last month.
Speaking on SABC News recently, Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said applicants who did not provide their banking details when applying for the grant should wait for an SMS notifying them about payment collection at a post office.
“We want to emphasise to applicants that if you did not give us your banking details, please do not go to a post office if you don’t have an SMS from Sassa that states the grant has been approved.
“If you go to a post office because your neighbour told you they received their SMS, you won’t be assisted,” said Letsatsi.
He said the SMS system was intended to avoid glitches and comply with the lockdown regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections due to overcrowding in branches.
According to Sassa, more than 9.7 million people in distress had applied for the grant.
At least six million beneficiaries would have received their R350 grant payments by the end of August, Sassa said.
The agency has said it would pay out more than R2.1bn in August alone.
SA Post Office spokesperson Johan Kruger said last week that payout dates were determined by the beneficiary’s last three digits of their ID.
“They will receive an SMS from Sassa to say the grant is ready for collection,” Kruger said.
“We are also working on an SSD code which the beneficiaries will soon be able to use on their phones to check if there is money waiting for them.”