Despite facing various challenges, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is determined to deliver their constitutional duty of providing social support grants to vulnerable individuals living in the county.
SASSA distributes social grants to approximately 19 million people every month. These permanent grants include Older Persons' grants, Disability grants, War Veterans' grants, Child Support grants, Foster Care grants, Care Dependency Grants, and the Grant-In-Aid.
In addition to these permanent grants, SASSA also pays the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant to more than 7 million unemployed adults living in South Africa. This means that roughly 45% of South Africa's population are currently benefiting from social grants distributed by SASSA.
However, in recent times, several issues have caused disruptions in grant payments. These challenges encompass loadshedding, reduced budgets, and technical problems with Postbank affecting some beneficiaries who use SASSA payment cards.
Sassa grant payment challenges are extremely concerning as failed payments mean that beneficiaries cannot access essential services or purchase food.
Increasing Number Of Grant Beneficiaries
SASSA recently revealed the number of grant beneficiaries 18.7 million to almost 18.9 million recipients, at a cost of R202 billion. This signifies a growth of approximately 0.82%.
Furthermore, they disbursed an average of 8.5 million R350 grant payments each month, with a total expenditure of R30.2 billion for the 2022/23 financial year.
The average administrative cost for providing social assistance is R22 per month, which is below the target set at less than R37 per month. SASSA also approved more than 1.6 million grant applications, surpassing their target of 1.2 million and achieving a 99.5% success rate.
SASSA successfully processed all SRD grant applications for the fiscal year. Out of the 8.5 million applications, 5.3 million were declined as of March 31, 2023.
Unlike in the 2021/22 financial year, when SASSA received R500 million additional funding during the budget adjustment process for administrative costs towards the implementation of the R350 Grant, there was no additional funding in the 2022/23 financial year. SASSA reprioritised its budget to fund the cost of administering the grant.
Over the course of 12 months, the total number of beneficiaries paid through all payment methods increased by 91,090. Beneficiaries paid through their own bank accounts increased by 1.1 million during the same period.