Communities Face Issues Accessing R350 Grant

The R350 Covid-19 grant has been reintroduced to South Africans but many say that they still face issues of trying to access the grant as well as issues of fraud.

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Applications for the R350 Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant opened on 6 August 2021 and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has received more than 9 million applications from across the country.

The payment process has now begun however many applicants have faced issues in regards to being approved for the grant.

Community activist at the Nyanga e-learning hub, Thulani Pike says that applicants are being rejected because SASSA has claimed that they are either employed or they must claim their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) or they must claim tax.

“In most of the cases, these people they do not know how to appeal these cases because they cannot go to a SASSA office and appeal,” says Pike.

Another challenge applicants face is that they are unable to trace the money that has been paid to them. People have visited Post Offices to collect their payments but the Post Office has told them that their money is not there.

“I have taken these issues, for them to SASSA but even up to today there is no response,” says Pike.

He says that the many communication channels within SASSA makes it difficult to get hold of a specific person to respond to the specific issues which applicants have been facing.

Pike says that applicants faced many issues with the application process as some were unable to apply on their phones and had to be assisted at the Nyanga E-learning Hub.

SASSA said the cause for this was that its systems were overwhelmed and struggling with the amount of traffic on its website, even though they had added many application channels to solve this. 

“We tried to assist but even here the network was very bad,” says Pike.

Applications for the R350 grant will be open until March 2022.

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