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Struggling With SASSA New Verification Process – Insights From Green ID Books

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Struggling With SASSA New Verification Process - Insights From Green ID Books

Struggling With SASSA New Verification Process – Insights From Green ID Books. Over the past two weeks, thousands of people have been struggling to access their Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants due to a new identity verification process introduced by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). This new process aims to fight fraud but has inadvertently caused difficulties, especially for those with old green ID books.

Higher Chance Of Unsuccessful Verification

SASSA informed GroundUp that while it’s not essential to have a smart ID, grant recipients with the old green ID book face a higher chance of unsuccessful verification when using facial biometrics. This issue arises because the photos in the green ID books are often of poorer quality compared to those in smart IDs.

Complaints From SRD Beneficiaries

Last week, GroundUp reported numerous complaints from SRD beneficiaries who were unable to access their R370 grants due to the new verification process. Members of the #PayTheGrants campaign have been inundated with requests for help from desperate beneficiaries and have flagged the issue with SASSA, but they have yet to receive a response.

New Biometric ID Verification

Since earlier this year, SRD beneficiaries who change or want to change their mobile numbers must undergo biometric ID verification. Now, those suspected by SASSA of committing identity theft or being victims of identity theft must also go through this process. Beneficiaries will receive an SMS with a link to take a clear photo of their face and submit it. They will then be notified if the process was successful.

Requirement For A New ID

Paseka Letsatsi, SASSA spokesperson, stated, “If this biometric test fails, they will need to get a new ID which includes advanced biometric features.” SRD grant payments for those requiring facial verification will be withheld until their identity is confirmed through facial recognition. This measure is intended to limit the possibility of identity theft.

Criticism From #PayTheGrants

Elizabeth Raiters, deputy director of #PayTheGrants, criticised SASSA for failing to adequately explain these changes to beneficiaries. Many beneficiaries with the green ID book were unaware of the new requirement until they contacted SASSA’s help desk in desperation. On a single Monday, #PayTheGrants received hundreds of complaints from affected beneficiaries.

High Call Volumes At SASSA

GroundUp also received several emails from affected beneficiaries. When they phoned SASSA’s call centre four times between 10:45 and 12:20 on a Tuesday, they encountered an automated message stating: “We are experiencing high call volumes.” On the fifth attempt, they finally reached an agent who confirmed that beneficiaries would need a smart ID card to complete the identity verification process. SASSA uses the Home Affairs database to verify identity through electronic facial recognition software, causing panic among beneficiaries who cannot apply for and receive a smart ID before the next payment date.

Concerns Over Timing And Implementation

While #PayTheGrants does not oppose SASSA’s efforts to curb fraud, they are concerned that the verification process was implemented at a time when beneficiaries expected to be paid. Raiters noted that some beneficiaries were already approved to receive their grants in June and were preparing for that money. Now, they can only access their grants after applying for and receiving smart ID cards.

Challenges At The Department of Home Affairs

Despite measures to improve efficiency at the Department of Home Affairs, long queues and lengthy waiting times still plague its offices. This further delays SRD beneficiaries from completing the verification process and receiving their grants.

Conclusion

The new identity verification process by SASSA has created significant challenges for SRD beneficiaries, particularly those with green ID books. While the intent to curb fraud is commendable, the implementation has caused undue stress and financial strain for many. Clear communication and support from SASSA are crucial to help beneficiaries navigate this new process and ensure they receive the assistance they need.

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SASSA News

Pay Disbursement Dates For July 2024 SASSA SRD Grants

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Pay Disbursement Dates For July 2024 SASSA SRD Grants

Pay Disbursement Dates For July 2024 SASSA SRD Grants. In July 2024, SASSA will disburse SRD R370 payments from 26th to 29th July. Recipients should expect funds to reflect in their accounts within 2-3 working days post-processing.

Introduction To SASSA SRD R350 Grant

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has been instrumental in providing financial relief through grants like the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) R350, especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background of SRD R350 Grant

Initially launched as a temporary measure, the SRD R350 grant aids unemployed individuals and those without other forms of income, helping them cope with economic hardships.

Payment Schedule for July 2024

SASSA has scheduled SRD R350 payments for July 2024, ensuring timely disbursement via bank transfers or mobile money services.

SRD R370 Payment Dates

Beneficiaries can expect SRD R370 payments from 26th to 29th July 2024, with funds typically clearing in 2-3 working days thereafter.

Proposed Increase to R370

A proposal to increase the SRD grant to R370 aims to further alleviate financial burdens amidst rising living costs, pending government approval within the 2024 payment cycle.

New Developments In SRD Grant Management

  • Digital Application Process: SASSA has enhanced online platforms for streamlined application and information updates, reducing the need for physical visits.
  • Expanded Eligibility Criteria: Revised criteria now include more vulnerable categories, ensuring broader access to those in need due to recent job losses or income reductions.
  • Enhanced Fraud Detection: Advanced measures like biometric verification strengthen fraud prevention, ensuring grants reach rightful recipients.
  • Partnership with Financial Institutions: Collaborations with financial institutions aim to expedite secure payments, improving overall efficiency and reducing delays.

Conclusion

The SRD R350 grant remains pivotal in supporting vulnerable South Africans. With anticipated enhancements and improved management, SASSA continues to provide crucial financial aid, promoting social and economic stability across the nation.

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