The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has been dealing with the reconsideration of the covid-19 SRD Grant applications for a while which caused a lot of dissatisfaction to the public at large. After months of dealing with appeals, verification and reconsideration processes about seven hundred and fifty thousand (750 000) have been paid and we expect payments to increase to over a million by the end of the week.
These payments made in the week are specifically for the reconsideration appeals for the period of August 2021 to November 2021. We appeal to clients to please provide SASSA with their bank account details to enable us to pay them into their own accounts. Notifications to update details have also been sent to clients whose reconsideration appeal has been approved, but their bank account details were outstanding.
The extension of the grant for a further period of 12 months was announced in February 2022. However, before the extension could be implemented, the legislative framework had to be changed, given the lifting of the COVID-19 National State of Disaster.
In this new iterations, one of the conditions of the allocations was to address concerns raised about inclusion and exclusion errors to ensure that we stay within the budget allocation of R44 billion.
To achieve this, we implemented a means test not only for appeals but for all applicants upfront. This require 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 SRD grant applications upfront.
This required an extensive procurement and systems development process, including partnering with some of the main banks in the country. Due to the challenges with setting up this system, we had a backlog not only with the reconsideration appeals, but also with assessments for the new applications from April 2022
The payment process have now commenced and having cleared the first four months of backlogs for the reconsideration appeals between August and November, the assessments for the new applications has begun.
Clients are advised not to go to the post office to access the funds. Recipients of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 who had selected to receive their funds at SAPO branches are requested to visit www.srd.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. Clients must have their Identity Document and Cellphone they registered when applying for the grant because the OTP number will be sent to that registered number.