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SASSA introduces biometric identification – Here’s who is affected

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has introduced biometric identification to reduce the risk of social grant fraud. 

The verification process primarily aims at selected categories of COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant recipients. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SASSA BIOMETRIC VERIFICATION PROCESS

On Wednesday, SASSA said that beneficiaries who wish to modify their existing mobile numbers or banking details initially provided will only be able to do so upon successful completion of biometric verification. 

“Clients suspected of identity theft or those who have been victims of such crimes may also be required to undergo biometric identification,” the agency said. 

Furthermore, SASSA said that in instances where any of the above-mentioned situations have been identified or have occurred, the agency may mandate the beneficiaries undergo compulsory electronic identity verification to secure their grant application and payment. 

Additionally, the initiative will also help eliminate fraudulent grant applications. 

WHAT DOES A BENEFICIARY NEED TO COMPLETE THE VERIFICATION PROCESS? 

SASSA said to complete the verification process, one would need the following:

  • A smartphone or computer equipped with a high-quality camera.
  • A stable WiFi or mobile data internet connection. 
  • A well-lit environment where they are the only person in the picture. 

Notably, COVID-19 SRD applications are processed online only. Similar to the application process, this is a one-time activity to unblock an account or make a high-risk change to a client’s profile. 

Notably, beneficiaries not completing the biometric identity verification process may have their grants suspended. 

“We assure our clients that the agency is committed to their safety, and this process will not disrupt any other client not listed in the categories referenced above,” SASSA said.

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