Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
4 Oct 2021
6:40 am

R350 SRD grant: Here’s how Sassa will identify fraudsters

Cheryl Kahla

Back in September, Sassa was investigating 177,000 public servants.

People queue at South African Post Office at JubiIee Mall during adjusted lockdown level 4 on 6 July 2021 in Hammanskraal. Photo: Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) said it has upgraded its IT system to assist in identifying fraudsters who illegally claim the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.

Sassa’s new IT system

Speaking to eNCA on Sunday, Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said it was important to curb the rise in Sassa crime. He said criminals will be arrested.

A ‘very tied up’ system

Letsatsi said the system as implemented currently is “very tied up” because most beneficiaries who should get the grant, do get the grant.

“And I think if we follow up on that, those who are in the wrong will get arrested because the intention here is to make sure we do not necessarily give people who don’t deserve this amount of money”, he said

Meanwhile, Sassa has, to date, paid 6 million out of 14 million applicants of the SRD grant.

Expediting payments

As of 30 September, Sassa has paid nearly six million Covid-19 grant applications. Some 8.3 million applicants have been approved and over 5.6 million received their grants by September 2021.

Sassa said it managed to expedite payments to verified applicants despite the high volume of applications. It is still in the process of verifying the remaining applications.

About 1.5 million people preferred their monies to be paid via the cardless channel at ATMs.

ALSO READ: Sassa investigating 177,000 public servants receiving social grants

Delay in Sassa payments

Back in August, Sassa general manager Fanie Sethokga responded to the backlog and delay in the payout of the R350 grant, subsequently losing his cool on air when criticised.

Sethokga said the delay in payouts was due to data verification.

For every application received, the information must be verified against the Home Affairs database.

Sethokga said the process had to start afresh for the new month because a beneficiary’s personal circumstances may change.

LISTEN: R350 grant: Here’s how billions set aside for social relief will be spent

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney