Emergency Income Grant causes headaches

Avoid crowding

23 April 2020 | Government

Walvis Bay • le[email protected]

Walvis Bay urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge has recommended that technology-based systems be used to verify and assist in the distribution of the N$750 Emergency Income Grant (EIG).

This comes after hundreds of people who had their grant application turned down due to wrongly submitted identification numbers pitched at Kuisebmond stadium today to reapply.

Another reason provided was that many also applied using more than one cellphone.

Ipinge said his office submitted recommendations to the ministry of finance to ease the distribution of benefits after long queues of people withdrawing their grant were observed at ATMs over the past days.

“The constituency office doesn't have the required capacity or the resources to handle the process of verification as proposed by the ministry of finance.
[However], we are willing to assist the ministry with customised and streamlined solutions to fit their exact requirements in line with the corporate identity of the ministry.”

He said that through this approach delays, fraudulent reapplications, incorrect beneficiaries and duplications could be eliminated.

“We are confident that our recommendations will ensure real time reporting, effective data management and that no qualifying beneficiaries are left out.”

Ipinge advised potential grant recipients to contact the finance ministry for the validation and identification forms or any other EIG related matters.

“We understand that qualifying recipients need the N$750 urgently. At the same time we fully support the directive to limit public gatherings and won't allow our office to be forced into violating the state of emergency regulations knowingly," he said.

The office of the constituency councillor remains closed, with staff working remotely and guided by the Covid-19 Operational Plan as well as government regulations on working from home.

Try, try, try again

The ministry of finance advised EIG applicants who did not receive any response after three days since filing their applications, to reapply, in case their first applications were not captured.

Applicants should use the same information used in the first attempt.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi launched the EIG in a bid to assist an estimated 739 000 income-starved Namibians with a once-off payment on 9 April.

Adult Namibians who qualify, were invited to submit applications from Good Friday, until 30 April at 11:00. Applications will take 72 hours to process.
Payments started on Tuesday, 14 April.

To qualify for the grant, people must be between 18 and 59 years, and:
• have lost jobs or income, in part or full, in the informal sector of the economy as a result of Covid-19;
• are unemployed, taking into consideration that the effects of Covid-19 and related public health protective measures have weakened the means of support and subsistence income across the country.

People who are excluded are:
• those below 18 (who are neither employed or unemployed because they are supposed to be in school);
• employed and have not experienced reduction in wages;
• persons receiving any form of state social grants and government support such as Namibia Students Financial Assistance; and
• have jobs or experienced reduced wages in the formal sector.

To apply:
• Applicants nominate themselves and apply via sms to MTC number 141222, free of charge.
• MTC will send out a trigger SMS to all MTC SIM card holders to prompt the application process.
• Applicants will answer a set of predetermined questions with details such as the person’s name and surname, national identity number, preferred cell phone number (through which the benefits will be paid) and the region of residence.
• Noting that not all people own cell phones, up to ten persons can make use of one cell phone number which they commonly use at household level and make their own cash withdrawal arrangements.
• For ease of administration, payments will only be made via digital wallets of participating commercial banks, namely FNB Namibia, Bank Windhoek and Standard Bank. Applicants will be requested to indicate a commercial bank of their choice where their digital wallets will be distributed.

The MTC call centre will assist applicants with the necessary clarifications during the application process.

After the approval of the application, a token will be issued by the bank an applicant have selected in the application process.

The token will be for one of the following e-money products offered by the respective bank, namely e-wallet, bluewallets or easy-wallets. It can then be redeemed using the cardless services at that bank’s ATM, or can be used to transact directly via the various value added services provided by the various wallets.

Additional reporting Namibian Sun

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