SOCIAL Development Department Minister Bathabile Dlamini has apologised for the anxiety caused as a result of uncertainty around the payment of social grants in a statement in which she assured South Africans that it was all systems go for the payment of grants on April 1.
She reassured all qualifying grant beneficiaries would receive their money “as per normal”. As April 2 falls on a Saturday, Sassa pay points will not open as is normal when the grant payment date falls over a weekend. “Special focus and provision will be made for the busiest merchants and ATMs around the country. Managers will be deployed to monitor and assist beneficiaries with inquiries. On April 3 Sassa pay points will operate as normal and recipients are encouraged to go on their respective days and respective pay points as indicated on the slips they received last month,” Dlamini said.
Measures put in place by the department as of April 1 include opening of the 0800 60 10 11 Sassa call centre, deployment of senior officials to the call centre to attend to all inquiries and officials on standby to answer calls that might come through the switchboard. Arrangements have been made to ensure SCOPEN is available for investigation and verification of the status of the grants applications.
Her spokeswoman Lumka Oliphant said normal business processes would continue and any form of lapsing or suspensions that may occur should not imply failure to pay by Sassa. “The minister wishes to reiterate her unreserved apology for the anxiety and fear caused about the uncertainty around the payment of social grants. She wished to express her gratitude in advance for the patience and cooperation of SA especially the beneficiaries of social grants,” Oliphant said.