Why Millions Of R350 Grant Payments Were Delayed


The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is recognised as a crucial support mechanism for millions of unemployed South Africans. However, many individuals who applied for the grant have not been approved for payment. 



The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has admitted that several challenges have prevented them from paying millions of individuals the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant

The grant was reintroduced using alternative legislation which created some of the challenges now being faced by the agency. 

Sassa's Brenton van Vrede says that several challenges are delaying the process of paying the beneficiaries of the SRD grant. One of these challenges is due to the new SRD grant application system. 

When the National State of Disaster came to end in April 2022, alternative legislation had to be used by Sassa to provide the SRD grant. In addition to the SRD grant being provided under the Social Assistance Act, Sassa also adjusted the qualifying criteria for the grant.

To implement these changes to the qualifying criteria, Sassa had to build and improve their Sassa SRD grant application website. These improvements took time to implement and meant that SRD payments were delayed, leaving Sassa to play catch up ever since. 

Van Vrede added that further amendments to the qualifying criteria made in August resulted in further delays. However, these amendments meant that more people would qualify for the SRD grant.  

If that amendment in August wasn't made we would have seen a very huge fall off in the grant in July. So we withheld the July payment a little bit so that the amendments could be published, those amendments were published in mid-August and then we assessed the July payments towards the end of August.

They revealed that Sassa will look to finalise the assessment of August 2022 SRD grant applications in the next two months. Once this is completed, the agency is hopeful that they can start to process September 2022 SRD grant applications towards the end of the month.




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