Sassa R350 Grant Beneficiaries To Undergo Facial Recognition Checks

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Millions of vulnerable people living in South Africa rely on grants from the South African Social Security Agency monthly. The agency responsible for these grant payments has introduced new verification checks to ensure that grants are paid to the right people.


The South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) has announced that beneficiaries of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, also known as the R350 grant, will undergo an identity verification check. This will be in the form of a facial recognition check.

This announcement from the Sassa will affect several groups of people who applied for the SRD grant. Affected grant beneficiaries include individuals updating their mobile numbers, people with a certain SRD grant status and individuals who choose certain payment methods.

Which R350 Grant Beneficiaries Will Be Required To Undergo Facial Recognition?

  • Clients who wish to update their mobile number 
  • Clients who want to clear a referred SRD grant status 
  • Clients who have requested a Post Bank account opened on their behalf 
  • Clients requesting payment via the cash send payment method

Several circumstances can lead to an SRD grant beneficiary changing their mobile phone number. However, if a client fails to update their mobile number on the SRD grant website, they will not receive an SMS from Sassa informing them that their money is ready for collection.

According to Sassa, a Referred SRD grant status means a fraudulent application was received from the mobile number the applicant applied with.

To clear a Referred SRD grant status, applicants must contact the South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS) . Once the issue has been cleared, applicants may email [email protected] with proof that they have cleared the problem.

Beneficiaries will then need to undergo facial recognition.

Sassa explained that beneficiaries will receive two SMS’s from Sassa. Beneficiaries must click on the link provided in the second SMS. This link will only be valid for three days/ 72 hours.

Beneficiaries who require further information about the new biometric identity verification are advised to contact the Sassa call centre on 0800 60 10 11 to request the SMS to be re-sent.


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