Social grant payments on track for April 1 deadline
IT IS “all systems go” for the payment of social grants to about 17 million recipients on April 1, the Social Development Department and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) insisted yesterday.
The department and Sassa “wishes to inform South Africans, especially social grants recipients, that all is on track for the payment of grants” from April 1.
Social Development Minis- ter Bathabile Dlamini “would like to reassure all qualifying beneficiaries that they will receive their money as per normal”, the department said.
“As recipients of social grants are aware, our payments are made at various channels including merchants, points of sale, banks, ATMs, and Sassa pay points,” it said.
However, because April 1 was a Saturday, Sassa pay points would not open, as on all occasions when the grants payments date fell over a weekend.
Special focus and provision would be made for the busiest merchants and ATMs around the country, and regional executive managers would be deployed to monitor and assist beneficiaries with enquiries.
On April 3, Sassa pay points would operate as normal and recipients were encouraged to go on their respective days to their respective pay points as indicated on the slips they received last month.
Teams of managers would also be deployed to provide assistance at the pay points, the department said.
Measures put in place as of April 1 included:
The Sassa call centre would be opened to assist beneficiaries with their enquiries on the contact number 0800-60-10-11.
Senior officials would be deployed at the call centre to make sure that all enquiries were attended to.
Officials would also be on standby to receive calls that might come through the switchboard.
Arrangements had been made to ensure that the social pensions system Socpen was available for investigation and verification of the status of grants applications.
A letter to acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane had been sent out with a request to increase police visibility across the country.
“The department emphasises that normal business processes will continue, so any form of lapsing or suspensions that may occur may not imply a failure to pay by Sassa.”
Dlamini reiterated her unreserved apology for the anxiety and fear caused by the uncertainty around the payment of social grants.
She expressed her gratitude for the patience and co-operation of the beneficiaries of social grants, the department said. – ANA