R350 Covid-19 grant channels do not work

By Phillip de Wet for Business Insider SA

None of the channels set up to accept applications for the special Covid-19 unemployment grant of R350 work reliably – and some do not work at all.

The R350 grants, formally know as Social Relief of Distress (SRD) payments, are due to be paid starting on 15 May – for those registered in time – and will run until October, for a total of R2 100 due to recipients. Up to six million South Africans are believed to be eligible.

The SA Social Security Agency’s website is not available, its WhatsApp system is not responsive, and its email system is unusable on most platforms.

A promised SMS system does not appear to be in place, and there is no sign of a Facebook Messenger channel.

But if you stay up late enough, USSD will eventually work, our testing shows.

There’s a workaround, however, and that is to go directly to https://srd.sassa.gov.za/sc19/auth

No physical applications are accepted at Sassa offices, and though the agency and its minister has promised fieldworkers will go out to those without access to technology, that is not yet happening.

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