The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has paid about 750 000 claims with more payments expected to take place in the coming weeks. This follows months of appeal, verification and reconsideration processes with regards to the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) applications.
In a statement on Friday, Sassa said it had paid about 750 000 grant recipients. “These payments made in the week are specifically for the reconsideration appeals for the period of August 2021 and November 2021,” said Sassa.
The SRD Grant was extended for another 12 months in February but, in a statement, SASSA said: “Before the extension could be implemented, the legislative framework had to be changed, given the lifting of the Covid-19National State of Disaster.”
The agency added that it needed to stay within a R44 billion budget and without excluding those in need. The new conditions will exclude millions of people who previously qualified for the grant previously.
“To achieve this, we implemented a means test not only for appeals but for all applicants upfront. This requires SASSA to implement a similar process of checking income in people’s bank accounts. This was previously only done for those who have appealed. We have now implemented this for all the Covid-19 Grant applications upfront.”
Recipients have been advised not to go to the Post Office to collects their money. “Recipients of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 who had selected to receive their funds at SAPO branches are required to visit www.sassa.gov.za and select an option to collect the grant from any retail outlets such as Checkers, Usave, Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer.”
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa said announced that back payments of SRD would be paid as of mid-June. However, SASSA said it will only be making back payments from August last year.