The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) announced on Thursday it has paid 1,2 million people their R350 Social Relief Grant.
“Our aim is to pay the right grant to the right people,” SASSA CEO Totsie Memela said in a statement.
So far, 3.2 million applicants have been approved and 1.2 million have been paid, said SASSA.
The agency added that payments are still in progress and SASSA still needs to do a verification check before any payments can be made.
It said applicants are processed daily but the major source of delays comes from the necessary verification process which SASSA has to do with other institutions which are dependencies in the value chain.
“We continue to work hard to ensure that those who qualify get what is due to them. Our main aim is to support the government in alleviating poverty especially during these difficult times but we have to follow the required processes and we appeal for patience from those whose applications we have not reached so far,” said Memela.
The agency said it is in receipt of numerous grievances with regards to declined R350 grant applications.
“Some applications have been declined as they did not meet the criteria. For one to qualify for the COVID-19 grant they must be either unemployed without any kind of income, or not receiving any kind of government assistance such as UIF and NSFAS, or social grants or any other financial support and must be above the age of 18.”
“The majority of declined applications are from people already on the UIF database or qualifying to receive it. In this case, applicants are advised to contact the Department of Employment and Labour to either apply for UIF or follow up with their applications.”
SASSA verifies all applications by matching their data with other public and private databases to eliminate possibilities of double-dipping so that only deserving applicants receive this financial aid.
Memela said the department is aware that this has caused unhappiness from applicants and thus it is important for beneficiaries to understand the criteria because this grant is not necessarily for everyone.
“We are doing everything in our power to solve the matter and a dedicated email address and phone number have been made available to process complaints.”
Those who feel aggrieved should either call 0800 60 10 11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with their complaints in order to access the recourse mechanism.