Sassa channels down due to huge application influx

By Eva Chipa for Jacaranda FM

It has been another day of frustration for applicants of the R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.

This amid widespread technical difficulties at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

On Tuesday, both the Sassa website and the WhatsApp channel for applications were not working.

Spokesperson Paseka Lestatsi says the technical glitches are due to the huge influx of applications.

“The system opened last week Friday and we experienced about 2000 applications per minute, the system became very slow, however we can safely says that gov-chat came to the rescue to make sure other platforms are available for applications.”

Letsatsi says Sassa is still moving faster when compared to the previous round of applications.

“An observation we made as well, was that the number of people who managed to successfully go through exceed the number of people who applied when we opened for the first time during lockdown level 5.”

The Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) option for those who don’t have smartphones is also still down.

“The USSD is not available as we speak however we will make an announcement soon in terms of when the USSD line will be up running, we are alert to (the fact) that majority of people do not have access to smartphones, and we will definitely work on the USSD line.”

The WhatsApp line has been restored but to ease pressure on these channels, Sassa announced that applications can also be submitted via an app option called and Facebook Messenger.

Online applications for the grant officially opened on Friday, and Sassa says citizens can apply during the whole month of August.


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