a) In order to address some of the challenges which were experienced in the previous cycle of the R350 SRD grant the process has changed, to enable all applicants to provide banking details on application and not only when the application is approved. Information provided as at 18 August 2021 is that, of the 8 931 375 applications received, 6 817 229 (76%) have provided information on bank accounts. This information still has to be verified to confirm which accounts can be used for the grant to be paid into.
SASSA is dependent on the provision of information on bank accounts which is provided by the applicants. In cases where there is no bank account details provided, SASSA is obliged to effect payment through the post office, as there is no other alternative.
However, engagements with the post office and Postbank have been held to introduce alternative access channels for funds deposited into the accounts held by Postbank on behalf of the post office. This will allow for funds to be collected at participating merchants and Standard Bank ATMs thus reducing the number of people who have to collect over the counter at post offices. While this solution is yet to be tested, it is believed that it will significantly reduce the number of citizens who have to report in person at post offices.
b) COVID protocols will be enforced at all post offices. The post office has confirmed that they will stagger payments according to last 3 digits of the ID number, to reduce the number of people who report to any one post office in a single day, and that they will employ active queue monitors to manage compliance to the protocols.
c) Where beneficiaries use their own bank accounts, there are bank charges which they have to cover themselves. However, when they are paid through the post office, they are able to access their full grant amount without bank charges.
A full reconciliation is done with Post Office to ensure that all funds due to any beneficiaries are paid out when the beneficiary tries to access his/her funds.