PRETORIA,The Department of Social Development has assured South Africans especially beneficiaries of social grants that the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is on track with their payment of social grants.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has instructed SASSA to open the file to pay social grants at 11am yesterday (31 March 2017).
“A limited number of messages were sent to beneficiaries notifying them that their April social grant was available for withdrawal.
“Within an hour of notification more than twenty five thousand (25 000) beneficiaries had withdrawn their money at ATMs around the country,” the department said in a statement on Friday afternoon.
The department said at 4pm on Friday 650 000 beneficiaries had withdrawn their grants.
“As recipients of social grants are aware, payments are made at various channels including merchants, points of sale, banks, ATMs and Sassa cash pay points,” the department said.
As part of her oversight role, Minister Dlamini will today, 1 April 2017 be visiting merchants in Burgersfort, Limpopo Province.
Minister Dlamini will also be engaging beneficiaries to obtain feedback on the payment process.
The Minister will start at 9am at the Unitrade Factory Shop, Shop 6 Khadima Centre, Main Street in Burgersfort.
Teams of managers will also be deployed around the country to provide assistance at the busiest merchants and pay points.
According to the department, measures in place as of April 1, 2017 are:
**The SASSA call centre will be opened to assist beneficiaries with all enquiries. The contact number is 0800 60 10 11.
**Senior officials will be deployed at the call centre to make sure that all enquiries are attended to.
** Officials will also be on standby to receive calls that may come through the switchboard.
**Arrangements have been made to ensure that SOCPEN is available for investigation and verification of the status of the grants applications.
** A letter to the Acting National Police Commissioner was sent out for a request to increase police visibility across the country.
The department has emphasised that normal business processes will continue.
“Any form of lapsing or suspensions that may occur may not imply a failure to pay grants by SASSA,” the department said.
The Minister has reiterated her unreserved apology for the anxiety and fear caused about the uncertainty around the payment of social grants.
She wishes to express her gratitude in advance for the patience and cooperation of all South Africans especially the beneficiaries of social grants.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK