Systems crash as R350 grant applicants apply en masse - Sassa adds Facebook as option

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
On Monday, the Sassa website was down, and the WhatsApp as well as the USSD channels for applications were also not working.
On Monday, the Sassa website was down, and the WhatsApp as well as the USSD channels for applications were also not working.
Gallo Images
  • Applicants for the latest round of Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants are encountering technical difficulties. 
  • The Sassa website is down, and the USSD channels for applications are also not working. 
  • Sassa said applicants can now also try an app as well as Facebook Messenger.

Applicants for the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 have encountered widespread technical difficulties.

On Monday, Fin24 found that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) website was down, and the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) option for those who don’t have smartphones also produced errors. Following initial unsuccessful attempts, the WhatsApp application (to number 082 046 8553) responded by Monday afternoon.

To ease pressure on these channels, Sassa announced that can applications can also be submitted via an app option called and Facebook Messenger.

Online applications for the officially opened on Friday, but Sassa says excessive web traffic slowed down the application process. Within 45 minutes of the opening of grant applications on Friday morning, the server hosting the Sassa website was at 95% capacity.

"This is a clear indication of the huge need for food aid among others, from distressed inhabitants of the country, and therefore the president couldn't have reinstated this grant at a better time," said Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, Sassa chief executive.

Sassa reminded users that they still have the whole month of August to apply in order to receive their August payments.

The grant payments will be paid out every month until March 2022.

The article has been updated to reflect that the WhatsApp channel has been restored.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot