‘Incompetent’ SASSA Promises to Speed Up Payments for R350 COVID-19 Grant

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Unemployed people
People queue to receive food during a distribution. Marco Longari/AFP

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on Thursday promised to speed up the payments for the R350 COVID-19 grant.

The agency has disclosed that 85% of the UIF cases previously deemed not to be qualifying for the R350 COVID-19 grant qualify. 

Unemployed South Africans who qualify to receive the grant are frustrated by the slow pace of approvals and payments made by SASSA.

SASSA informed R350 COVID-19 grant applicants on Twitter today that applicants must be patient as the agency is about to finalise the payment backlog.

Please note that SASSA is experiencing high application volumes. You’ll recieve outcome on your application in due time through the cellphone number you provided to SASSA during application. Please be a bit patient with SASSA we are about to finalise the payment backlog we had.

— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) July 9, 2020

The agency did not provide details on how it plans to fast track payments that have been pending since May.

Many applicants for the R350 COVID-19 Grant were frustrated by the message and voiced their anger on Twitter:

I due course? Why is it so difficult to process this? This is the 3rd month now since we’ve been approved. I believe you are waiting for the 6 months that this grant will be paid out to end. People will never get this grant. And the larger number you declined, this is deliberate

— Ase (@Zondwa13) July 9, 2020

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