Sassa extends channels for R350 grant application as glitches hit WhatsApp, site

Sassa said its WhatsApp was experiencing difficulties, while its website was struggling with major traffic.

A South African Social Security Agency office in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) experienced technical glitches on the first day of applications for the reintroduced COVID-19 social relief unemployment grant.

The grants will be paid out to South Africans above the age of 18 who qualify, for eight months - from August 2021 until March next year.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi on Thursday said that the agency was working closely with the Post Office, adding that they were working on plans to ensure that people did not flock to offices from the end of August.

To achieve this, the agency made digital platforms such as WhatsApp, USSD, and its website available as the only channels for applications. However, many applicants were left frustrated when the systems had errors as they attempted to apply.

Sassa said its WhatsApp was experiencing difficulties, while its website was struggling with major traffic.

To quickly remedy this, it opened up government's GovChat service via web and Facebook Messenger for applications.

Sassa urged applicants not to panic as applications were open through August.

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