South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) general manager Fanie Sethokga on Friday responded to the backlog and delay in the payout of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Covid-19 R350 grant.
R350 Covid-19 grant (SRD grant)
Delay for backlog explained
Sethokga said some of the processing systems had been strengthened to deal with the application and payout process.
However, Sassa on Friday called on beneficiaries to be patient:
“Can you please be patient? Payments are being made as we speak. Sassa cares and we will pay all deserving applicants.”
Sethokga said the delay in payouts was due to data verification. For every application received, Sassa must verify the information against the Home Affairs database and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
9.3 million applications pending
At the time of publishing, there were more than nine million applications still unprocessed, with Sethokga saying 11 million people had applied. He added that the team was doing their best under the circumstances.
Just because a beneficiary’s data was verified and approved in August, does not mean the grant would be approved for that individual again in September, he said.
Sethokga said the process had to start afresh for the new month because a beneficiary’s personal circumstances may change.
For example, a beneficiary may go from being unemployed to employed. Therefore, the grant has to be verified again.
Sassa grant deadline
The new Sassa SRD grant was announced back in July when Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said R700 million was yet to be paid to beneficiaries.
Earlier this month, Sassa said monies not collected by 31 August would be returned back to Treasury coffers to fund other government priorities.
“Some approved applicants still need to collect their grants. Grants not collected by 31 August will be sent back to National Treasury”.