Minister asks COVID-19 grant recipients not to change banking details

  • While an estimated 7.5 million people are receiving the R350 COVID-19 grant monthly, the program has not been without its issues.
  • The latest problem causing delays in payments is people changing their banking details. 
  • This as a verification process is required every time a person decides to change their banking details.

Ever since the South African government initiated its Social Relief of Distress (SRD) COVID-19 grant of R350, the process has proved quite frustrating for many.

This as payments have failed or been delayed on numerous occasions, not to mention the fact that many who have applied for the COVID-19 grant, waited for months before hearing back on whether they were successful or not.

While it is indeed an initiative that many people rely on, there continue to be challenges. The latest is regards banking details, and people choosing to change their banking details, which is something that Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has urged people not to do.

According to the minister this can result in delays of payment as every new account that is added needs to be verified first before payments are processed.

“Once your bank details are loaded or updated, please wait for a response from your bank before changing your details,” she explained in a media briefing earlier this week.

“With regards to payments, we are still having challenges with beneficiaries who upload incorrect bank details. We also urge all approved applicants who are not yet paid to check the status of bank verification, and if needs be, correct their banking details,” added Zulu.

The minister also unpacked some of the other issues currently impacting her department’s delivery of the COVID-19 grant. On this front, Zulu noted that currently 7.5 million people across the country receive the grant monthly, but that her department is still working towards the goal of 10.5 million beneficiaries.

While it works to reach the aforementioned goal, it also looks like the department continues to face a low uptake of the benefit, with it said to be 50 percent less than the budgeted amount (R44 billion).

“For us as the Social Development portfolio this is a very serious indictment because we continue to see the growing numbers of hungry and distressed people in the communities where we work,” the minister highlighted.

Whether this low uptake is down to continued issues around meeting application criteria or simply not having enough time to wait for the COVID-19 grant to come in, remains unclear, but there is clearly more work to be done when it comes to this initiative.

To find out how to apply for the SRD grant, you can head to the SASSA portal here.

[Image – Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash]
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