According to estimates, more than forty percent of South Africa’s population receives a social grant from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). However, concerns have been raised about the SASSA capacity to effectively provide SRD Grant services in rural areas.
Latest updates about SASSA being urged to improve SRD grant services in rural areas:
Civil society organizations have urged SASSA to improve SRD grant services in rural areas. They say that many people in rural areas are struggling to access the SRD grant, due to long distances to pay points, lack of internet access, and poor cellphone reception. They have called on SASSA to open more pay points in rural areas, to provide mobile services, and to improve cellphone reception.
The civil society organizations have called on SASSA to take the following steps to improve SRD grant services in rural areas:
- Open more pay points in rural areas.
- Provide mobile services.
- Improve cellphone reception.
- Make it easier for people to apply for the grant online.
- Provide more information about the grant in rural areas.
It is important that SASSA takes steps to improve SRD grant services in rural areas. The grant is a lifeline for many people in rural areas, and it is essential that they are able to access it easily.
The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is the only form of assistance available to South African adults who are unemployed. The grant benefits over 10 million individuals.
Sassa has been criticized for requiring SRD grant applicants to use an online application system in order to apply for the grant. Concerns were raised regarding the fact that many grant applicants may not have access to smartphones or may be unable to afford the necessary application data.
This was refuted by the agency, which stated that the majority of people have access to the internet and warned that accepting SRD applications at their offices could cause their system to crash. They also note that customers can apply using either a smartphone or a standard cell phone.
Volunteers are available to assist clients with grant applications. In addition, clients are instructed to locate their closest councillor community worker, who can assist them in locating and identifying the closest volunteers in their community who can assist them with SRD grant applications.
The Department of Social Development has partnered with non-profit organizations across the nation to assist applicants without cell phones with their online applications.
Sassa was also criticized following the revelation that the South African Post Office (SAPO) would no longer distribute the R350 grant.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) demanded that SAPO be reinstated as the grant’s distributor. This is due to the union’s belief that the post office is more accessible in rural towns and communities that may not have contracted supermarkets to distribute the SRD grant.