Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has announced the criteria for the R350 Covid-19 relief grant announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to request that she makes an urgent Executive Statement to the National Assembly on the status of the special R350 Covid-19 Relief of Distress Grant.

Applicants remain disappointed as their concerns are posted on social media were once again ignored by the South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) and the Ministry of Social Development.

Despite weeks of cries from the unemployed on Twitter seeking answers about their applications for the jobless grant, SASSA and the Ministry of Social Development remained mum until today.

For more read: SASSA Ignores R350 COVID-19 Unpaid Grant Applicants’ Concerns

It has been 7 weeks since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant on 21 April 2020, and there is still no clarity on how many deserving South Africans have received relief outside the 100 000 beneficiaries SASSA claimed it paid by the end of May.

SASSA indicated that more than 1.2 million beneficiaries are being verified and that more than 660 000 applications have been approved.

The DA, however, has heard of numerous successful applicants who have been waiting for weeks to receive their grants without any indication or communication from SASSA on when these monies would be paid.

“Their pleas for SASSA to give clarity have also fallen on deaf ears,” said DA.

In terms of Rule 133 of the National Assembly a Minister may request the Speaker for an opportunity to make a statement on pertinent matters which Parliament should be informed of.

According to DA, SASSA’s inability to pay out the R350 grant to millions of poor and vulnerable South Africans is a critical matter which Parliament should be updated on.

The DA said the National Assembly is scheduled to meet on Friday, 12 June 2020. We call on Minister Zulu to use this as an opportunity to come out of hiding and come clean on whether her Department and SASSA is buckling under pressure.

“Their inability to timeously pay the special grant has pushed millions of South Africans further into poverty.”

In addition to the update on the number of South Africans who have received their monies, the DA has also requested that the Minister update Parliament on what plans SASSA has in place to capacitate their offices in order to mitigate the delays in the payment of the R350 grant as well as to address the long queues outside of its offices.

“The poor and vulnerable cannot be strung along in this manner. They should be treated with dignity.”

Last week on Thursday, SASSA said on its official Twitter page that some of its key electronic services were offline. For more: SASSA is Currently Offline For Key Electronic Services

Also read: Jobless Are Begging for Answers. Is SASSA or Minister Zulu Listening?

11 COMMENTS

    • Same with mine. There’s something we’re not told by SASSA. How can they be not ashamed of coming with excuses every time? I mean this is an emergency relief grant that they’re withholding from legitimate applicants.

  1. I’m so happy that other parties are interfering with this. So that SASSA accounts to the president and the applicants.

  2. My application has been pending for 4 weeks now why does it take this long, Why is Sassa ignoring the applicants no update just Frustration. Usually when you keep quiet we know something. I smell Corrupt elements is involved.

  3. I applied the very same day but so far my status still pending, something doesn’t make any sense about little R350 but my question is why president promised lies to his poorest people from food parcels to R350 while someone already loot 2 billions?where this govt lead us to?is this what we have voted for?looking at their games of fooling poor people,I don’t people will get that R350 and I think they lying to us that 100 000 people already received that money

  4. Sassa is playing with poor people ,,, excuses after excuses ,,the minister and that CEO of are corrupt what do they think people are eating when they busy coming up with excuses ,,,i’ve been pending for 4-5 weeks now

  5. Hi I am one of those who been waiting for payment since 25th of May till today Dololo,there helpline number is always busy,facebook page they ignore our questions,on email they promised to get back to after 5 working days but still nothing.we neeed answers please

  6. I submitted mine the minute it was announced together with three of my siblings. They however approved on 31 May, mines been pending since. I think Sassa should employ people who think on their feet and work smart and fast. I have 6 years call centre experience together with a number of others who have less or more years experience in the coloured community. We’d sort the issue if only Sassa would employ us and set us up even a 10 seater in every ward not just ward 58 instead of making people suffer poverty stricken no even food hampers allocated in Wentworth by Sassa. Today I was in lamontville at church only to find there is so much given into communities of their choice. Help people in ours too while we wait for that huge sum of R350 allocated to us. Which we awaiting. I fail to understand why you don’t help. Prevent spread of covid 19 but people queuing daily for the smallest laptop polyesters. People in our community I am speaking on behalf of for I’m saddened indeed heartfelt I am determined, focused and resolute. My immence optimism and desire to make a change is strong but how when I as young people of my community am not able to reach the call centre or even get response from emails sent through. Really this is sad.

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